$100K Grant for Haas Park Expansion (IL)

CHICAGO, IL, 01/11/2005 The Trust for Public Land (TPL), a national non-profit conservation organization, announced today the significant contribution of $100,000 from The Stenning on Lake Geneva Conservancy Society in support of the expansion of Haas Park in Chicago’s Logan Square Neighborhood.

“This contribution by the Stenning Foundation provides TPL with the critical support needed to successfully expand Haas Park and create more parkland for the children and families of the Logan Square neighborhood,” said Chris Slattery, Director of TPL’s Chicago Office. “Public-Private partnerships like this are essential to creating more parks for people. We are deeply grateful to the Stenning Foundation for its support.”

Logan Square residents have been fighting for expansion at Haas Park – which is located in the most park-poor neighborhood in Chicago – for nearly two decades, said Phil Jones, president of the Haas Park Advisory Council.

TPL currently is working to purchase the unused Worldwide Distributors warehouse on Fullerton Avenue adjacent to Haas Park with the intention of holding it until the Chicago Park district is able to budget sufficient funds to buy it. Last November, the Chicago Park District Superintendent Timothy Mitchell dedicated a surprise $1 million in his 2005 budget toward the expansion of Haas Park.

The venture is a risk, and TPL must raise enough money to pay all the costs associated with owning and holding for at least a year such a large building. That includes financing and property management costs. The grant helps TPL meet its near-term goal to raise more than $200,000 to cover these projected ownership costs. The community has also been actively fundraising to support the expansion effort.

The Trust for Public Land specializes in conservation real estate, applying its expertise in negotiations, public finance, and law, to protect land for people to enjoy as parks, greenways, community gardens, urban playgrounds, and wilderness. Regional accomplishments include the protection of Plum Island near Starved Rock State Park in Illinois and expansion of seven city parks and playgrounds in Chicago since 2001. Nationwide, TPL has helped protect more than 1.9 million acres. To learn more visit www.tpl.org ?