Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Archive Throwback: January 2002

Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Archive Throwback: January 2002

Article excerpt

The parallels between Parks & Recreation magazine's January 2002 and October 2015 issues are striking. Both include focused pieces on Chicago, childhood hunger and urban gardening. Both also make mention of the Windy City's mayor of the era--the famous Richard Daley, in his address to the Great Parks, Great Cities Conference of 2001, and the equally well-known Rahm Emanuel in 2015, with his Chicago Plays! program. The details of all these subjects have certainly changed, but the essential cores of the stories remain largely the same. Chicago remains a storied city with incredible parks, the United States still struggles to adequately address childhood hunger and urban gardening continues its slow, but steady, increase in popularity.

When Daley addressed his crowd 14 years ago, Millennium Park was still under construction. Maggie Daley Park, named for the former mayor's beloved wife, wasn't even a twinkle in the Chicago Park District's (CPD) eye. And yet, numerous citywide beautification projects were underway, with some eventually finding their way into the city's codified ordinances. "Come to Chicago and you'll see flowers and shrubs in the street medians, not just downtown, but in the neighborhoods as well," Daley said. "This is a result of our Landscape Ordinance, which requires developers ... to install and maintain landscaping around their property and on the public way." The law remains in effect today. Daley also took time to boast of the renovation of dozens of fountains and the planting of more than 300,000 trees during his term to date at that time (1989-2001--Daley would remain Chicago's mayor until 2011, when Emanuel would succeed him), among many other park and recreation-related achievements.

Daley's emphasis on beefing up the beauty, usability and items of interest in his city proved incredibly prescient. "This is quite a wide variety of amenities. …

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