A new playground is coming to Indian Boundary Park in West Ridge to replace the iconic but crumbling wooden castle

WEST RIDGE — North Side community members and leaders are working to revamp Indian Boundary Park’s iconic castle-themed playground, securing a $750,000 state grant for their efforts.

The sprawling playground — built entirely of wood — is a neighborhood landmark, said Leta Dally, president of the Indian Boundary Park Advisory Council.

But the playground has suffered decades of physical wear and, like any wooden structure, it can be difficult to repair and maintain over time, Dally said. That’s why the community hopes to replace it, recreating the playground with improved facilities.

Cost estimates have ranged from $500,000 to $1 million, Dally said.

Aldus. Debra Silverstein (50th) worked with the Park District to advocate for the playground’s reconstruction and funding for the project. Locals called her about her wear and tear and she contacted Senator Ram Villivalam months ago, hoping to get a grant, she said.

“It’s not a cookie-cutter playground. It’s very iconic. [but] it’s very old and starting to break down,” Silverstein said. “We want that replaced.”

Silverstein said she worked with the Park District for over a year and involved Villivalam in the process.

“Indian Boundary is a cultural hub,” she said. “They have so many wonderful activities in Indian Boundary. My children were playing in the park. It really is an important part of the community.

Villivalam helped secure a $750,000 state grant for the playground project earlier this year with the help of state senator Laura Fine.

“As a young parent…I definitely see the value of reinvesting in this type of project and this type of park, because it’s a place where families can come together, where young people can play together and it really creates a feeling of community,” Villivalam said.

Credit: Shamus Toomey/Block Club Chicago
Indian Boundary Park’s wooden playground would be replaced under a new plan.

Although the grant is a “great first step” towards efforts to restore the playground, local leaders are still gathering community feedback until funding is released – which could take a year or two. said Villavalam.

The Indian Boundary Park Advisory Council is gathering input to decide how the structure should be rebuilt through a online survey. Silverstein said the plan is to replace the playground with something similar, though community feedback will be factored into the final design.

The park advisory board also plans to hold community meetings on the initiative this summer.

“I think it’s just important for people to remember to get involved in the Park District whatever the new playground is and I hope we have just as wonderful a playground, if not a better playground. “Dally said. .

It will be difficult to lose the castle’s former playground, its fans said.

Community members raised money in the 1980s to build the castle, and it gained national attention, Dally said.

“It’s really funny, but when you Google Indian Boundary Park, you’ll see mentions of the playground as one of the most iconic playgrounds,” Dally said. “It’s all wood and it doesn’t have the colorful plastic things that playgrounds have today.

“In line with the architecture of the whole park, with small castle-like areas and small places to hide, it’s really very unusual. And it fits so well in the park.

Credit: Shamus Toomey/Block Club Chicago
Indian Boundary Park’s wooden playground would be replaced under a new plan.
Credit: Shamus Toomey/Block Club Chicago
Indian Boundary Park’s wooden playground would be replaced under a new plan.
Credit: Shamus Toomey/Block Club Chicago
Indian Boundary Park’s wooden playground would be replaced under a new plan.
Credit: Shamus Toomey/Block Club Chicago
Indian Boundary Park’s wooden playground would be replaced under a new plan.
Credit: Shamus Toomey/Block Club Chicago
Indian Boundary Park’s wooden playground would be replaced under a new plan.

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