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Opening Day Park 606 Bloomingdale Trail Draws Thousands of Joyful Chicagoans

Park 606, Chicago, 60647

Park 606, Chicago’s new elevated park, opened to the public June 6 along Bloomingdale Avenue, where the city re-purposed a former rail line into 2.7 miles of public park land. Thousands of Chicagoan’s from all types of life walked, biked, skated, and jogged along the elevated path that extends west from Ashland Avenue to Humboldt Park.

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The park had a ‘wow’ factor for many who came out on the sunny Saturday to commemorate the opening. It was a new view of the city above the backyards of houses and backlots of shops along the trail.

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The central gathering location was Humboldt Boulevard between Wabansia and Cortland. The site featured a music stage, a Summer Dance stage, local restaurant vendors, and dozens of hands-on activities for all ages. Live performances included Chicago bands like Funkadesi, music by DJs, and drumming performances by Quilombo Brazilian Cultural Center.

To access the park, people are able to get on or off the trail every quarter mile.

The trail extends to west to Ridgeway Avenue in Humboldt Park. Some Chicagoans expressed concerns that the Bloomingdale trail will increase property value and also gentrify Humboldt Park neighborhood.

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The city lifted the ban on spray painting outdoors for the launch and commissioned artists to create murals along the walls below the Bloomingdale Trail.

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The day closed with a light show performance at the Humboldt Park section of the trail.

The Chicago Park District Park 606 will maintain and manage the new trail that added 20 acres of land to Chicago.

It is the first park of its kind in Chicago. Mayor Rahm Emanuel called the Bloomingdale Trail a “quiet revolution in our neighborhood parks.”

The park began development in August 2013 and with a budget of $95 million, led by Friends of the Bloomingdale Trail, an organization established to manage the vision and mission of the trail. They wanted to create a park from the unused Bloomingdale rail line that closed in 1994. The park stretches 2.7 miles, elevated 16 feet off the ground and passes through four Chicago neighborhoods, Wicker Park, Bucktown, Logan Square, and Humboldt Park.

The park represents the city’s investment and focus on “Building a New Chicago,” connecting communities and creating jobs.

The easiest way to access the trail by public transportation is the CTA Blue Line ‘L’ stop at Western Avenue. The park is open daily from 6:00 am to 11:00 pm.

For more information about Park 606 visit their website www.the606.org

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