The Trust for Public Land Launches The 606 Trail Mix Family Events and Conversations
Lively all-ages series kicks off May 13, celebrating Chicago’s next great park and trail system
CHICAGO – May 5, 2014. The Trust for Public Land is launching Trail Mix, a free monthly series of family events and conversations about The 606 — www.The606.org — and its centerpiece, the Bloomingdale Trail, Chicago’s next great park and trail system. The events, designed for all of Chicago to enjoy, will include hands-on family activities and behind-the-scenes conversations. The series is hosted by The Trust for Public Land – www.tpl.org — The 606 project’s lead private partner, and sponsored through a generous donation from energy company Exelon Corporation.
The Trust for Public Land’s Trail Mix series has something for everyone who loves the outdoors. May 13’s presentation by landscape architect Matthew Urbanski of Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates will entice nature lovers anticipating The 606’s amazing array of planted environments; the June 7 event targets families getting ready for summertime bike season, and history buffs will want to be on hand July 8 to hear tales about Chicago’s manufacturing legacy along the tracks of the Bloomingdale Trail. All events are free and open to the public, and will be held at various locations near The 606. Pre-registration is encouraged, so visit www.The606.org/Events for location information and registration.
The 606 park and trail system is the signature project of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s push to create new parks, recreation areas and green spaces throughout Chicago over the next five years. This ambitious new park and trail system has the 2.7-mile elevated Bloomingdale Trail as its centerpiece, connected to five ground-level parks as well as an observatory, wheel-friendly event plaza, performance spaces, art installations and other amenities.
“The magic of The 606 is its potential to connect communities all along its Bloomingdale Trail, and to connect all Chicagoans to this park-and-trail treasure in the making,” said Beth White, director of The Trust for Public Land’s Chicago Region Office. “Our new Trail Mix Family Events and Conversations series strengthens that connection with programs that inform, entertain, and bring communities together,” White added.
“In addition to creating innovative green spaces, The Trust for Public Land is bringing the public educational opportunities that highlight The 606’s rich history and sustainable future,” said Steve Solomon, Exelon’s vice president of corporate relations. “Exelon is pleased to support this unique programming and to help make this park and trail system a reality.”
The first Trail Mix – A Plant Palette for The 606, is Tuesday, May 13 from 6:30pm – 8pm at the Darwin School Auditorium, 3116 W. Belden, in Chicago’s Bucktown neighborhood, one of the four communities along The 606. Learn about The 606’s amazing array of plants – from native grasses to a unique phenology project that will provide year-round sensory interest and strengthen your connection to the natural world.
Other Trail Mix events include:
June 7, 2014 — Bikes: Gear-Up & Get Ready + Friends of Bloomingdale Trail Potluck, 11am – 2pm, McCormick Tribune YMCA, 1834 N. Lawndale. Dust off your bike and ride to the YMCA for a day of wheeled fun, including a bike rodeo, tune-up and decoration stations with West Town Bikes. Then join us for a community potluck hosted by Friends of the Bloomingdale Trail. Don’t have a bike? Come anyway, we’ll have extras to ride!
July 8, 2014 — A Trail Through Chicago’s Manufacturing History, 6:30pm – 8pm, The Hideout Chicago, 1354 W. Wabansia. Drums, furniture (and even beer) are part of Chicago’s rich manufacturing legacy. Historian and researcher, Jim Peters, will share how and why the tracks of Bloomingdale Trail were originally elevated and how they helped shape four Chicago neighborhoods.
August 3, 2014 — Making History: Toys and Tinkering, 11am – 2 pm, Quilombo Cultural Center, 1757 N. Kimball. Lincoln Logs, Ludwig drums and Harmony guitars – all made and shipped along the Bloomingdale Rail Line. Learn about the rich manufacturing history and make some ingenious toys and musical instruments to take home.
September 9, 2014 — A Living Work of Art, 6:30pm – 8pm, The Silver Room, 1442 N. Milwaukee. A solar observatory, a wheel-friendly event plaza, and miles and miles of walls make up a rich world of art, both present and possible on The 606. Hear all about it from the artists who will be part of this local and global cultural asset.
October 11, 2014 — Bridges: Up, Over, Through and Down, 11am – 2 pm, Bucktown-Wicker Park Library, 1701 N. Milwaukee. 38 bridges and viaducts span the length of The 606. Construction crews had to build, knock down and even move bridges to create the 2.7 mile-long elevated trail. Learn more about the process, explore how bridges work and engineer your own to take home. We’ll visit the Milwaukee Avenue Bridge for inspiration.
November 18, 2014 — Trailblazers Tell All, 6:30pm – 8 pm, Revolution Brewing, 2323 N. Milwaukee. From the early dreams of the founders of the Friends of the Bloomingdale Trail to a blow-by-blow description of what it takes to demolish one bridge and move another, hear first-hand stories about the true grit it takes to build Chicago’s next great park, The 606.
Locally, The 606 will be an urban oasis for the 80,000 people, including 20,000 children, who live within a ten-minute walk. It is also planned as a citywide resource, a transportation alternative as well as a tourist attraction, which is already garnering attention worldwide. The Trust for Public Land is the lead private partner on the project, and is supporting the planning and implementation process through management of private fundraising and community outreach, in partnership with the City of Chicago and the Chicago Park District.
About The Trust for Public Land
Founded in 1972, The Trust for Public Land is the nation’s leading nonprofit working to conserve land for people. Operating from more than 30 offices nationwide, The Trust for Public Land has protected more than three million acres from the inner city to the wilderness and helped generate more than $34 billion in public funds for conservation. Nearly ten million people live within a ten-minute walk of a Trust for Public Land park, garden, or natural area, and millions more visit these sites every year.
Learn more at tpl.org
About The 606
The 606 takes Chicago’s legacy of great parks to new heights. This Northwest side project is transforming nearly three miles of unused rail line into the elevated Bloomingdale Trail, linked to five ground-level neighborhood parks, as well as various art installations and other amenities. The park and trail system is named for the 606 zip code prefix all Chicagoans share. Set above city streets, it will serve as both an urban oasis and a new way to explore Chicago on trails for biking, running and strolling. The 606 also connects parks, people, and communities; what once physically separated four neighborhoods now will knit them together and attract visitors from throughout Chicago and beyond. It is yet another Chicago icon that brings together innovative urban planning, green space, and the arts. The 606 will change the way you see our city. For more information visit The606.org