Residents Call for Immediate Reopening of Humboldt Park Beach and Long-Term Sustainability Plan

Effort Supported by Alderman Carlos Rosa, Alderman Roberto Maldonado, Alderman Joe Moreno, and State Senator William Delgado

CHICAGO, IL – On Wednesday June 10, the hottest day in Chicago so far this year, Grassroots Illinois Action held a press conference with community residents calling for the reopening of the Humboldt Park Beach and sustainability plan to keep it open to the community for the long term.

The Humboldt Park Beach has served as one of the greatest summer recreational resources for Humboldt Park, Logan Square and West Town area for over 40 years. Currently, the historic beach is sitting waterless. Less than a month before the rest of Chicago’s beaches were set to open, the Chicago Park District (CPD) announced Humboldt Park Beach would be closed for Summer 2015.

Participants questioned the budgetary rationale of the Chicago Park District decision to close the Humboldt Park Beach considering how recently the city waived the near $1 million rental fee for Grant Park for the NFL, an extremely profitable organization. Community residents held signs reading, “NFL gets $1 mil, Humboldt Park kids no beach?”

There are only two pools within two miles of the beach, Humboldt Park Pool and Smith Park Pool, with a combined capacity of just over 100 swimmers. These pools are not designed for use by young children or non-swimmers.  There is only a single water spray feature located within one mile of the beach.

“We refuse to allow our community to be stripped of this historic and vital beach,” stated Rousemary Vega, GIA member and Humboldt Park resident. “For years my family has enjoyed using the Humboldt Park Beach. The beach has provided us cool relief on hot summer days and a safe space for our children to play.”

“We want it to continue being a refuge for families so we urge the park district to open it this summer. Not only that, we urge the park district to come up with a sustainability plan to make sure we are not here again next year,” said Lynda Lopez, Grassroots Illinois Action member.

The campaign to keep the Humboldt Park Beach open has enjoyed wide support. More than 1800 residents have signed a petition demanding the beach open following the closing announcement. Grassroots Illinois Action has received received support for reopening the Humboldt Park Beach from Alderman Carlos Rosa (35), Alderman Joe Moreno (1),  Alderman Roberto Maldonado (26), Casa Puertorriquena, and State Senator William Delgado (2).

“I have always been committed to working with community members to provide safe places for our children to play, especially in summer months.  I stand with Grassroots Illinois Action in their call to keep the beach open. It is my hope we will be able to work with the park district to find a sustainable long-term solution for many more years of beach enjoyment.” said Alderman Roberto Maldonado in a statement.