Parks & Open Space

photo 4 (9)As a Sierra Club member who once interned with the US Subcommittee on the Environment in Congress, Michele Smith has a strong commitment to open space and environmental issues. She understands that our parks and open space are a big part of what makes the 43rd Ward such a special place.

Michele has fought efforts to privatize portions of Lincoln Park, our ward’s “front yard,” and negotiated over an acre of new public open space as part of the recent Children’s Memorial Hospital redevelopment.

She secured nearly $1.3 million in funding to construct the Alcott Elementary “Field of Dreams,” which will include a soccer and baseball field, a running track, a basketball and sport court and two new play structures, all built on a “green” infrastructure for all members of the Park West community to use.

She dedicated a significant amount of funding to rebuild Goudy Park in the Gold Coast to ensure its continued use for future generations, and helped build the new field at Newberry Academy that includes a turf field and playground, providing children and residents of the Lincoln Central neighborhood a viable area to enjoy the outdoors.

Michele has planted well over 100 trees in the 43rd Ward, the first trees planted in many years. Replacement of our trees as they age and die is an ongoing priority for Alderman Smith.

Michele is also proud to advocate for the six new acres of lakefront park that will be created as part of the Fullerton Revetment project, and supports separation of bike lanes from pedestrians on the lakefront trail.

In City Council, Michele supported the Clean Power Ordinance to close city’s two remaining coal fired power plants, as well as the ordinance requiring the elimination of plastic grocery bags. Michele supports the Divvy bike program, placing more stations in the 43rd Ward than in any ward outside downtown.

Michele sponsored a “green house” tour in the 43rd Ward, and a forum for solar panels.

As our alderman, Michele will remain vigilant and defend public open space so that all residents can continue to enjoy the beauty of our parks, playlots, and open spaces.