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Kells Park Playground is one of 103 playgrounds to be rebuilt or refurbished this year

Chicago First Lady Amy Rule, Chicago Park District General Superintendent Michael Kelly, Alderman Walter Burnett, Alderman Emma Mittsand dozens of area children celebrated the completion of a refurbished playground with a ribbon cutting ceremony today as part of Mayor Emanuel's Chicago Plays! program.

“Playgrounds serve as community anchors that provide a better quality of life for residents and better recreational opportunities for children, which is why the Mayor has committed to rebuilding hundreds of playgrounds in neighborhoods across the City,” said Rule. “This playground will serve as a place for children to play, for neighbors to meet and for community bonds to be strengthened.”

The celebration took place at Kells playground in Humboldt Park. Kells Playground is one of 103 playgrounds to be built or rehabbed this year; more than 60 have already been completed.

"The playground at Kells Playground Park gives children and families a safe place to have fun and be active," said Superintendent Kelly. “Mayor Emanuel’s Chicago Plays! program not only provides children with a place to play, playgrounds contribute to a child’s social and cognitive development.”

In March, 2013, Mayor Emanuel announced that over a five year period, the Chicago Park District will rebuild, repair and/or refurbish 325 playgrounds in communities across Chicago. Last year, 50 playgrounds were completely rehabilitated as part of Mayor Emanuel's Chicago Plays! playground renovation program. An additional 11 soft surface playgrounds were rehabbed by the Park District.

"I am thrilled that the Mayor is working with the community in refurbishing the playgrounds,” said Alderman Burnett. “Some may underestimate the value of having a community stronghold such as a park for the children, family, and neighbors, but I am proud that this necessity is not lost here in our city."

"This park, along with the many other parks in Chicago that are getting refurbished, will only serve to enrich our children's lives,” said Alderman Mitts. “You can never go wrong by investing in children and the community."

In order to prioritize equipment replacement, the Chicago Park District worked with the Friends of the Park organization to seek community input and determine those playgrounds in greatest need of repair.

Mayor Emanuel's Chicago Plays! program invests over $125,000 in new playgrounds equipment at each park location for an estimate program cost of $37,500,000, allowing to provide a broader investment in capital projects throughout the city.  The program underscores major announcements the Mayor has previously made regarding parks, including a comprehensive plan to build and improve parks throughout the city so that every Chicagoan in within a ten minute walk of a park.

For more information about the Chicago Park District’s more than 8,200 acres of parkland, 580 parks, 26 miles of lakefront, 10 museums, two world-class conservatories, 16 historic lagoons, 10 bird and wildlife gardens, thousands of special events, sports and entertaining programs, please contact the Chicago Park District at 312/742.PLAY or 312/747.2001 (TTY). Want to share your talent? Volunteer in the parks by calling 312/742.PLAY.