Development Council Advances Neighborhood Planning at Business Focus Group

Jorge Vega, left, shares the results of his breakout group's brainstorming at the September 19 focus group with the help of Ricardo Lopez from the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning.
Jorge Vega, left, shares the results of his breakout group's brainstorming at the September 19 focus group with the help of Ricardo Lopez from the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning.
Published September 25, 2018

The McKinley Park Development Council continued its work toward a comprehensive neighborhood plan at a first-of-its-kind business focus group on Wednesday, September 19, at the 36Squared Business Incubator. Working with support of the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP), the event drew dozens of local business owners and operators who shared their concerns, priorities and ideas for the community in order to inform the neighborhood plan, a project the council won from CMAP in 2017.

This event was the first of its kind for the McKinley Park neighborhood, which has never enjoyed collaborative business networking or a business-specific support group. In the same manner as the neighborhood plan's resident-focused conclave this past July, smaller breakout groups used oversized maps of the community area to note neighborhood assets, highlight areas of concern and write up their ideas for improvements.

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DeMay Announces Candidacy for 12th Ward Alderman

Pete DeMay speaks about neighborhood priorities at the announcement of his campaign for 12th Ward alderman on Sunday, September 23, in McKinley Park.
Pete DeMay speaks about neighborhood priorities at the announcement of his campaign for 12th Ward alderman on Sunday, September 23, in McKinley Park.
Published September 24, 2018

McKinley Park neighborhood resident Pete DeMay announced his candidacy for 12th Ward alderman in a speech and rally next to the McKinley Park Community Garden on Sunday afternoon, September 23. Flanked by supporters and community members, DeMay outlined his priorities, focusing on a swath of issues and highlighting his independence from a Chicago City Hall status quo that has resulted in poor results for the ward, he said.

"We did not get here by accident," DeMay said. "We were driven here by a mayor and a rubber-stamp alderman."

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Mariachi Concert, Farmers Market and More Coming This Week to McKinley Park

Published September 24, 2018

The sounds of mariachi music will again fill the park for the Mariachi Tradición Juvenil Concert at 11 a.m. on Saturday, September 29, at McKinley Park. The youth-oriented Mariachi Tradición Juvenil ensemble returns to the park after its Farmers Market concert, but this time performing as part of Chicago's Year of Creative Youth project.

This Sunday, September 30, heralds the final month of the McKinley Park Farmers Market, which brings a wide variety of fresh produce, food and goods to McKinley Park every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The market will continue its run through October, then shut down for the season, with its harvest bounty offering some of the freshest and most affordable food in the neighborhood.

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Local Educator Brings Nature Play Expertise to Velma Thomas

Jessica Fong engages with students in 2017 at the Jardincito play garden, which informed her research project on nature-based play.
Jessica Fong engages with students in 2017 at the Jardincito play garden, which informed her research project on nature-based play.
Published September 18, 2018

Local educator and McKinley Park neighborhood resident Jessica Fong has started her teaching engagement at the Velma Thomas Early Childhood Center, bringing her expertise in nature-based play to the highly regarded preschool. Fong, whose original research quantifies the benefits of nature play, said she is eager to bring what she has learned to the school and take advantage of nearby McKinley Park and the McKinley Community Play Garden.

"Having the 65 acre park just a half block away will add another dimension to my nature-based play research," she said. "I am also curious to see what effects nature play has, if any, on the dual language development of the students."

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Fishing Derby, Business Conclave and More Slated for This Week in McKinley Park

Published September 17, 2018

Hard-fighting game fish are coming to McKinley Park's lagoon for the Fishing Derby, 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, September 22. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources will stock the lagoon for the contest, which is open to kids 7 to 13 years of age, and includes prizes from local retailers. Be sure to bring your rod and tackle, and register in advance by calling (773) 869-9050.

The McKinley Park Development Council has a busy week ahead, with the McKinley Park Neighborhood Plan Business Focus Group meeting the morning of Wednesday, September 19, at the 36Squared Business Incubator to provide feedback to the neighborhood plan with help from the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP). On Wednesday evening at the McKinley Park field house, the McKinley Park Development Council Meeting features architectural preservationist Erica Ruggiero discussing the Central Manufacturing District. 

Read more: Fishing Derby, Business Conclave and More Slated for This Week in McKinley Park