Saturday, May 24, 2008

New Trees At Challenger Park

A reader sent us pics today of the newly planted trees in Challenger Park. He also caught a few Uptown residents enjoying the beautiful weather with their dogs. Looks like the dogs approve of the improvements.


  1. I love running through the park.

    On my run today... what do I see? three bums partying against the cemetery wall.

    Trees look nice though.

  2. There are also new trees at the Buena Circle Playlot and Kelly Park just south of Irving.


    Please don't call me a bum.

  3. See Shiller did something positive!

  4. Absolutely.

    I saw Helen Shiller personally out there driving the backhoe digging the holes for the trees.

    She is a wonderful alderman. Perhaps next she will even issue a statement on the murder of an innocent mere yards from her office.

    Perhaps she has forgotten with all her landscaping.

  5. The CUBS organization is under a contract to deliver maintanence and improvements and game-day security to this park in exchange for getting use of the South end by Irving for a pittance.

    This was a huge campaign issue the year Shiller was first elected. They and the Park District and the CTA have not delivered to the community the goods and services that were promised under that contract.

    And it renews. And, someone pulled a "Contract Switcheroo" because the signed contract on file and reachable by FOIA today is not the contract that was submitted for signature (according to city council records) 15 years ago. Go figure.

    Rumor has it that CTA might actually deliver the Gutter (track) Shields this summer that prevent debris from damaging the neighbors and CUBs parker's cars parked under the El tracks. Those shields also were required by contract 15 years ago, when Alderman Helen "If-I-can't-sell-it-cheap-I-give-it-away" Shiller cut her sweetheart deal with the Tribune/Cubs.

    BTW, the CUBS just gave $2 million to Humbolt Park for park improvements and a baseball field so it's not like they can't afford to meet their contract obligations to Uptown.

  6. Is there a way to find out who paid for this? I hope it was the Cubs rather than tax payers money.

  7. I would suggest asking Robert Geraghty - Park Supervisor N Region, at Gill Park Fieldhouse, 825 West Sheridan Road, Chicago, Illinois 60613.

    His contact info is (312) 742-7802 or

    He somewhat oversees Challenger Park and the CUBS contract although he isn't the guy who makes sure that CUBS fulfill their contract obligations. He just coordinates the maintenance of the park and does things CUBS don't do.

  8. Oh good, more shade for the CTA construction workers to take naps under. Those cars they sleep in over at the CUBS Challenger Park parking lot get pretty hot on summer days.

    And they thought we never noticed this going on for the past few years.....

  9. The small expansion of the dog park (to the cemetary wall) is something those involved with the park have been pushing for since it's construction in Fall of 2003.

    Took almost 5 years... but at least it's done.

    The trees were a surprise. I love it when trees are planted, but sadly my first reaction was "oh great.. more shade for the drunks/druggies who lie back there".

  10. this good I remember when this was just dirt.

  11. The Uptown History Blog has a photo of what it used to look like.

    Also pick up the movie "The Hunter" from 1980 with Steve McQueen. Some good shots of the alley and what Buena Circle Park looked like back then.

    NOT a pretty site.

  12. Wow what a difference from 1989. Even with people drinking back there some of the time it is much less inviting to do so than it was in the picture from 1989. Now that there are lots of neighbors with dogs going to the park there are many more calls to the police about the behavior going on in the park.