Spanning 1.5-miles, the trail will run along an old city-owned railway embankment on 59th Street. Plans are now in motion for the expensive undertaking, as community organizers have been pushing for an expanded nature trail for years. It will be an open space for the community, a place for neighbors to connect, and a natural retreat for members of the Englewood neighborhood.
Spanning 58th and 59th streets between Wallace and Hoyne Avenues, the project has been spearheaded by Anton Seals, lead steward at Grow Greater Englewood. Seals has been pushing for this trail for over a decade, with the goal of creating a safe, open space for neighbors. The large community plans to work with the city to create anti-displacement methods, in order to help grow the community, not push anyone out.
At this time, $6 million has been allocated by city funding with additional federal assistance still pending. Alongside that, the Chicago Department of Transportation has also applied for a federal grant, which could bring up to $45 million to the trail building efforts.
The trail will be next to an abandoned railroad from Norfolk Southern Railway, which was it first obtained back in 2014. The railway company has been known to play a role in the tearing down of Englewood homes in the past.
Plans for the trail are still in the early stages, but is going forward with hopes the trail can be a place where the Englewood community can find peace in their busy days. Creation of the trail will also provide construction jobs and residents are keeping an eye on improving the pedestrian and bicycle routes in the neighborhood.
Check back here for more information and developments on the Englewood Nature Trail.