An unused rail line that once separated neighborhoods now connects them.
The Trust for Public Land officially opened The 606 in June 2015. Exelon was an early supporter and provided a generous donation in 2012 that unleashed significant work.
The 606 turned an unused rail line that once separated neighborhoods into an elevated trail of green space on Chicago's northwest side. Some of the city's most park-poor neighborhoods - Bucktown, Wicker Park, Logan Square and Humboldt Park neighborhoods - are now beautifully knit together.
The centerpiece of The 606 is the elevated 2.7-mile Bloomingdale Trail, connected to ground-level neighborhood parks, four of which are alongside the trail. Long-term plans include six ground-level parks, a wheel-friendly event plaza, an observatory, art installations, educational programming and other amenities. There will be 1,400 trees, 61,000 perennials, 127,000 grasses, 12,000 vines and 63,000 bulbs along The 606.
Education programs on the 606 will be led by an Exelon-funded Fellow.
New education programs will guide Chicago's children and teachers as they explore and learn from The 606. The education components are designed by Exelon Fellow Jean Linsner. She will research, create and implement educational activities and resources for the 25 schools located along The 606, engaging students of all ages, as well as teachers, families and local residents. Linsner will also work with members of The 606 Teacher Network, a newly created group of teachers that has been piloting lesson plans incorporating elements of The 606 into science, technology, engineering, arts and math.
Linsner holds a master's degree in education from Indiana University and has co-authored the teacher resource book Schoolyards to Skylines: Teaching with Chicago's Amazing Architecture. Her work in the Chicago area has improved the lives of thousands of students, teachers and families.
"The 606 is an innovative project that promises to enhance education, the environment and the quality of life in communities we serve," said Steve Solomon, vice president of corporate relations at Exelon. "We're proud to have created the Exelon Fellow position to bring the experience of The 606 to life for thousands of students in Chicago."