Midnight Circus Returning to McKinley Park in September 2016

Published April 12, 2016

The Midnight Circus, a Chicago Park District program that hosted extremely popular shows in McKinley Park in 2015, will return in 2016 for noon and 3 p.m. shows on Saturday, Sept. 10, and Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016. As detailed in an emailed Park District announcement, the Midnight Circus will perform at ten different Chicago parks in August, September and October this year.

Read more: Midnight Circus Returning to McKinley Park in September 2016

Aquinas Literacy Programs Bring Together Tutors, Learners

Students and volunteer tutors work on language instruction at the Aquinas Literacy Center.
Students and volunteer tutors work on language instruction at the Aquinas Literacy Center.
Published April 12, 2016

The Aquinas Literacy Center at 3540 S. Hermitage Ave., Chicago, is continuing its program of free language instruction for McKinley Park residents who wish to study English as a second language. Now in its 20th year, the program helps more than 200 students annually by connecting trained volunteer tutors and learners through individualized instruction and access to the center's language lab.

Volunteers are critially needed to meet the high demand for language tutors, and the center is hosting its next training over the evening of Friday, April 29, and the day of Saturday, April 30. Click here for more information; contact Kristen Dempsey Pasyk at (773) 927-0512 or aquinasliteracy@gmail.com to sign up.

Read more: Aquinas Literacy Programs Bring Together Tutors, Learners

Community Garden Shut Down: Land Sold, 2016 Season Canceled

Gardeners planted for three years at the McKinley Park Community Garden, 1900 W. Pershing Road.
Gardeners planted for three years at the McKinley Park Community Garden, 1900 W. Pershing Road.
Published April 6, 2016

The McKinley Park Community Garden, which for the past three years has maintained a popular neighborhood gardening program at 1900 W. Pershing Road, has canceled its 2016 season due to the sale of the garden's land and pending development by the new owners. In an email sent to garden members, the group announced that all 2016 gardening was canceled and that everyone who signed up for a plot would receive a refund.

The news came as a surprise to the program, not only that the season was canceled, but also that the land was for sale and then sold. Outreach to the new owners was unsuccessful, as they could not commit to holding off development or re-sale through the 2016 gardening season.

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Hoyne Park a Favorite for New Soccer Pitch

Artist's conception of the Chicago Fire mini soccer field
Artist's conception of the Chicago Fire mini soccer field
Published April 6, 2016

Hoyne Park is a favored location for a new mini soccer field, according to Mac-Z Zurawski, Media and Policy Liaison for 12th Ward Alderman George Cardenas. The park, at 3401 S. Hamilton Ave. in the McKinley Park neighborhood of Chicago, may receive one of four new Chicago Fire-branded mini soccer fields, all of which are fully funded and slated for sites in the 12th Ward.

New soccer fields have already been confirmed for John Spry Community School in the Marshall Square neighborhood and for Davis Elementary School in the Brighton Park neighborhood. The alderman's office is working with City of Chicago officials, the Chicago Park District and local leaders and park councils to finalize locations of the two remaining sites. In addition to a possible location at Hoyne Park, a new soccer pitch will be built at an additional school in the 12th Ward.

Read more: Hoyne Park a Favorite for New Soccer Pitch

Two New Divvy Bike Stations Coming to McKinley Park

One of McKinley Park's existing Divvy stations is at 35th and Wood.
One of McKinley Park's existing Divvy stations is at 35th and Wood.
Published March 29, 2016

As announced by 12th Ward Alderman George Cardenas, Chicago's Divvy bike sharing system will be adding two new stations to the McKinley Park neighborhood. The two new racks will hold up to 11 bikes each and reside at Pershing Road and Ashland Avenue and at Pershing Road and Damen Avenue.

Cardenas credited the additions to greater interest in neighborhood biking supported by the new bike lanes on Pershing Road. "A 21st century neighborhood needs 21st century amenities such as Divvy to attract housing, tourism and recreational growth," he said.

The stations are expected to be in place before the 12th Ward Bike Parade, scheduled for June 2016, and will join the neighborhood's existing Divvy stations at the 35th/Archer and Ashland El stops on the Orange Line, and at 35th and Wood.