The Roseland community is getting a new public park for the first time in 50 years.
The new community space was formerly a vacant lot on South Halsted owned by the Sheldon Heights Church of Christ. With funds form a Chicago Recovery Plan grant, community partners including the Far South Community Development Corporation and the design team at Lamar Johnson Collaborative worked together to create POP! Heights Park.
Katanya Raby, director of planning for the Far South Community Development Corporation, says the new space fits in with her organization’s mission.
“This park is just one entity of a larger plan that the Far South Community Development Corporation has to really focus on making sure this community thrives and grows through our Bringing Communities Back Initiative,” Raby said. “The initiative is designed to address the vacancies that we have in the Roseland community.”
Lesley Roth, principal of Lamar Johnson Collaborative, says parks are important to communities.
“Parks play a significant role in community and economic development. There is data that shows the more parks and higher tree canopy a neighborhood has, the higher the property value the houses in the neighborhood have,” Roth said. “So this park really adds another layer to the Far South CDC’s initiative to elevate the value and quality of life for residents in the area.”
POP! Heights Park on 112th and Halsted streets is one of 12 new funded public spaces through the Public Outdoor Plaza program. The park will include a stage, a roller skating ribbon, half basketball court and community garden.
The amenities were created to ensure the park is utilized by all ages, especially those residing in Roseland, Morgan Park and West Pullman.