Englewood Nonprofit I Grow Chicago Breaks Ground On New Playground

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Englewood nonprofit I Grow Chicago broke ground Friday on a new playground to transform vacant lots into peaceful community spaces.

The lot at 6415 S. Honore St., sits in the middle of a block with many vacant homes, and it also houses the “Peace House,” a reclaimed abandoned house that now serves as a community center.

"We are making the most of the opportunity," said Quenin Marbles, co-executive director of I Grow Chicago. "This is for the community, the kids, everyone looking for a place to belong."

Ald. Raymond Lopez (15th) spoke at the groundbreaking, which featured a celebration of the playground's potential and what the nonprofit has — and will continue — to offer the community.

Activists, community members and families at the ceremony chanted they want there to be laughter, love, connection and no more guns on the block, which the nonprofit nicknamed the Peace Campus.

Planting seeds for the next generation. #strongroots pic.twitter.com/wQ4ESykjgF

— I Grow Chicago (@iGrowChi) June 28, 2019

Artist Erik Peterson, who has worked with several Chicago parks, councils, colleges and held solo exhibitions, helped with the playground design and said the construction team is using handmade wood techniques to create high-quality tables for elder folks, treehouses for kids and more.

"We are going to work on a giant log piece that is either wood burned or inlaid wood," Peterson said.

Construction is expected to be finished by the end of October.