(Copyright 2000 by the Chicago Tribune)
A group of politicians, school administrators and community activists unveiled a plan Friday for a $1.1 million botanical garden in the city's Englewood neighborhood.
The proposal calls for a walk beneath the "L" tracks on Princeton Avenue, from 59th Place to 62nd Place. Backers said they hope it will help spur redevelopment in the impoverished area, boost neighborhood pride and soften the impact of traffic and pollution from the nearby Dan Ryan Expressway.
State Sen. Barack Obama (D-Chicago) said he planned to seek state funding for the effort and estimated that ground could be broken in early 2001.
He said the park could serve as part of a new vision in the area and permit youngsters "to have open space and not always be stepping on concrete and broken glass."
In addition to flowers and trees, the proposed park would include a gazebo, a parrot sanctuary and a walk of fame.