The Trust for Public Land’s Beth White Wins Boeing Game Changer Award

The Trust for Public Land’s Chicago Region Office Director Beth White Honored as a Game Changer by The Boeing Company 

$50,000 award funds ongoing work coordinating The 606 rails-to-trails project on Chicago’s Northwest side

December 17, 2013 – The innovation and leadership behind The 606 has been honored with The Boeing Company’s Annual Game Changer Award. Boeing awarded $50,000 to Beth White, Director of The Trust for Public Land’s Chicago Region Office, to help support her agency’s work as the lead private partner on The 606 and the project’s centerpiece, the Bloomingdale Trail. The 606 is transforming nearly three-miles of unused elevated rail line on Chicago’s northwest side and is linked to five ground-level parks, an observatory and other amenities. When complete, The 606 will be an urban oasis and a new way to explore Chicago.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Boeing leaders presented its Game Changer Award to The Trust for Public Land and four other local nonprofits to recognize their ongoing engagement and innovation in education, arts and culture, civic engagement and health and human services.

“Giving back to our communities is important to our employees and a core value of Boeing, and we’re proud to partner with Beth and The Trust for Public Land in the amazing work they are doing through The 606,” said Rik Geiersbach, Boeing vice president for Corporate Strategy, and member of The 606 Leadership Council.

White was singled out for leading the planning, design and development of The 606, which will connect parks, people and communities. The railroad embankment that 100 years ago was built as a physical barrier to four neighborhoods will now knit them together through The 606. The Trust for Public Land is managing the design, private fundraising efforts, community engagement, and other aspects of The 606  on behalf of the Chicago Park District.

“I would like to thank The Boeing Company for recognizing The Trust for Public Land’s many years of work with the community in the planning, design and development of The 606,” said White. “Boeing has been a generous contributor to this project for many years because Boeing believes, as we do, that The 606 will be a transformative public space and a citywide asset to enrich residents and visitors alike,” White added.

The 606 park and trail system is the signature project of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s push to create 800 new parks, recreation areas and green spaces throughout Chicago over the next five years. This ambitious new park and trail system has the 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. Locally, the project will provide 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 nationally and internationally.


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, classrooms 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.
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About The Trust for Public Land
Founded in 1972, The Trust for Public Land is the 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.
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About Boeing
Chicago-based Boeing is the world’s leading aerospace company and the largest manufacturer of commercial jetliners and military aircraft combined. With customers in 150 countries, Boeing works to drive positive change in communities around the world though its community engagement and employee volunteers’ efforts.
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