Yes, Virginia, there really is a Barrie Park


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With apologies to James M. Barrie, the kids (and adults) in the vicinity of the park named for the distinguished children's author can't be blamed for thinking of Southeast Oak Park's major green space as "Neverland."

Off limits for the last six years and eight months, an entire playground pre-pubescence has passed for many of Oak Park's youth.

But that's all coal tar under the bridge as of this coming weekend when Barrie Park, finally remediated, makes its debut as a non-toxic recreational area for the first time since the 1800s.

To mark this momentous occasion, we thought we'd let you re-peruse some of Marc Stopeck's past Shrubtown classics. Barrie Park certainly provided plenty of grist for his mill. This is your chance to relive the protracted agony of Barrie's rebirthâ€"the park which has finally lost its shadow.

J.M. Barrie began his classic novel Peter Pan with the line, "This has all happened before, and it will happen again."

God, we hope not.

â€"Ken Trainor


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