Courtesy of The Chicago Crusader • September 15, 2020
Members of the Gary SouthShore Railcats provided Gary Community Partnership (GCP) with hefty manpower to complete a major portion of the Rees Park Rejuvenation on Friday, September 4, 2020. The effort, championed by GCP, was underwritten by the Legacy Foundation.
The effort drew support from 2nd District Councilman Cozy Weatherspoon along with representatives from the Legacy Foundation, Decay Devils and McDonald’s RMC.
Team members of the Railcats, alongside a host of community residents, helped remove topsoil, install a weed barrier, trench the playground perimeter, and install rubber mulch. GCP and neighborhood residents began the first leg of the project last summer, building benches, replacing playground equipment, and clearing the park of debris.
The final updates will include installing a new basketball backboard and completion of the park’s flower garden.
The park renovation is just one of many projects led by Executive Director Jeffrey Edwards and the Gary Community Partnership team to combat neighborhood blight. GCP today completes Youth Empowerment 2020, a 16-week summer work program which provides monetary stipends to teens for helping to maintain vacant community properties.
The organization has also planted a community garden to address food shortages and is now doing native planting in partnership with Chicago’s Field Museum. GCP will host Back on Track, a 3K Run/Jog/Walk and Health Fair Sunday, October 18th at Horace Mann Track and Field.
Major funding and support for the GCP efforts is provided by the Legacy Foundation, McDonald’s RMC, Methodist Hospitals, Centier Bank, Peoples Bank, the City of Gary Love Your Block Program and numerous individual donors.