City of Chicago PlayStreet Events Gets Underway
Deborah Bayliss | 6/17/2015, 4:30 p.m.
It’s time to hit the streets…and play!
The City of Chicago PlayStreets 2015 got underway last week with 150 special events scheduled throughout the summer as a way for children and families to engage in outdoor activities.
“I want every child in every neighborhood to get out and enjoy their community this summer,” said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “PlayStreets provides our children and their families more opportunities to be active while having fun and staying safe while developing a healthy life style for the rest of their lives.”
Emanuel and the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced the kick-off last week.
During PlayStreets events, traffic is closed off for three or more hours and the streets are transformed into what’s described as an “urban oasis” featuring sports, games, bounce houses, dancing, fitness classes and more.
Last year, more than 26,000 residents participated in 140 PlayStreets events.
Now in its fourth year, PlayStreets has grown to more than 150 events in 36 neighborhoods across Chicago including: Albany Park, Archer Heights, Auburn Gresham, Austin, Avalon Park, Belmont Cragin, Bridgeport, Brighton Park, Cabrini, Calumet Heights, Chicago Lawn, Douglas, East Garfield Park, Englewood, Grand Boulevard, Hermosa, Humboldt Park, Kenwood, Lower West Side, Montclare, Morgan Park, North Lawndale, Oakland, Pilsen, Portage Park, Rogers Park, Roseland, South Chicago, South Lawndale, South Shore, Uptown, Washington Heights, Washington Park, West Garfield Park, and Woodlawn.
A current schedule of PlayStreets events is available at PlayStreets.org.
“Our goal is to create healthy residents,” said CDPH Commissioner Julie Morita, M.D. “PlayStreets is a part of our citywide strategy to encourage our youngest residents to live healthier lives and help them stay healthy down the road.”
Gads Hill Center, the Active Transportation Alliance, World Sport Chicago and Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) Chicago are coordinating the events this year on behalf of CDPH and will be working with more than 20 grassroots community partners to help host the events and empower residents to take back their streets for fun and fitness.