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The Pirate Ship at Peterson Park is completed and ready for adventure-loving pirates! (Better pics than the one from my cell phone coming soon!)

Avast, mateys! To the Crow’s Nest! Argh!!!!

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Homework, soccer practice, ballet—is there time in the schedule to play outside? Visit Greenhour.org/TopTen to see 10 ways to Be Out There, even after school starts.

  • Keep a picnic blanket in your car for an impromptu picnic after picking up a fast food dinner on any spot of green you can find.
  • No backyard? Find your local parks using nwf.org/naturefind.
  • For older kids, start stretching your child’s boundaries, allowing them to go for unsupervised walks in the neighborhood with groups of friends. They’ll love the feeling of independence.
  • Have your child make a map of your neighborhood — using only natural landmarks. This will heighten his or her observation skills and can be the first step in creating a “field guide” to the nature in your neighborhood.
  • Keep flashlights near the door, and go for a neighborhood night hike. Kids will love the novelty, and you can challenge them to identify “night sounds.” Learn how to make a moon journal at greenhour.org/moonjournal.
  • With older kids, combine technology with the outdoors and go geo-caching or, the lower-tech version, letterboxing. There are about 20,000 letterboxes and 250,000 geocaches hidden in North America. Visit geocaching.com and letterboxing.org.

To view the full report, visit Be Out There.org.

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Back to School shouldn’t mean back indoors for children. In fact, National Wildlife Federation’s (NWF) new report TIME OUT: Using the Outdoors to Enhance Classroom Performance highlights the vast research linking time kids spend outside to increased classroom preparedness. American’s childhood has largely moved indoors in the past 15 years. The increasingly indoor lifestyle causes several factors that work against high performance in the classroom.

“Today’s indoor kids are distracted, less fit, more aggressive, and hard to manage in the classroom. Some don’t relate well to other students or adults on a personal level.” says Vice President for Education and Training Kevin Coyle. “Outdoor time can improve overall health while lengthening attention spans, diminishing aggressiveness, improving test scores and ultimately advancing learning.”

For more on this, see “Time Out: Outdoor Time Fuels Classroom Performance.”

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The Peterson Park Advisory Council has set up an account with the Parkways Foundation to accept donations for the Peterson Park Playground Fund!

The Parkways Foundation is a 501(c)3, not-for-profit organization that helps to raise private funds for projects within the Chicago Park District (CPD) for the enrichment of the physical and cultural landscape of Chicago’s neighborhoods.   All contributions to the Peterson Park Playground Fund through the Parkways Foundation are tax-deductible.

If you would like to contribute to the Peterson Park Playground Fund, you can donate online or by mailing a check/money order.

Online donations are accepted at the Parkways Foundation Website.  You can select the drop-down box under General Donations: Community Development and choose Friends of Peterson Park.  This will insure that your donation is credited to the Parkways Account for Peterson Park.

FOPP_parkways

Mailed donations can be sent to:

Parkways Foundation
FRIENDS OF PETERSON PARK
541 N. Fairbanks
Fourth Floor
Chicago, IL 60611

Please remember to write “Friends of Peterson Park” on your check or money order to help direct it to the correct account!

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Get the word out to friends and neighbors about the Peterson Park playground project!

Thanks to the amazing talents of the Brunger Family, the Friends of Peterson Park have these handy flyers for downloading or posting!

(If posting, please be sure to check with the owner of any establishment for permission and placement.  Please do not post flyers on telephone polls, under car windshields, or in public places where permission cannot be obtained.  The Friends of Peterson Park want to be good community neighbors.)

Click on a graphic for printable poster or flyer:

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montage_small

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Alderperson Margaret Laurino of the 39th Ward has pledged $1,000 of matching funds for the Peterson Park Playground which must be spent within the 2009 calendar year.  Thank you, Alderperson Laurino!

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In June 2009, the following community members were elected to the Peterson Park Advisory Council:

President – Ben Palmer
Vice President – Lloy Johnston
Treasure – Afifa Asad
Secretary – Mary Peer

Immediately following the election a vote will be held to establish the Friends of Peterson Park Committee for the purpose of managing the Pirate Ship Playground project. Then we can get the Parkways Account up and running.

In late July / Early August the advisory council is required to set up by-laws and mission statement. After those organizational details are established the council and it’s members can assemble a Board of Directors.

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