Goodbye blacktop, hello green at Irving School

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By Ken Trainor

Staff writer

The Irving School community is really, really happy to see that blacktop playground surface at their school head to the scrap heap. That'll happen this summer as Irving and other District 97 schools receive new playgrounds. Irving, 1125 S. Cuyler Ave., celebrated its new schoolyard, and bid good-riddance to the blacktop, at an outdoor party on May 24. How happy were they to see the blacktop go?

Teachers and students wrote a song, "Goodbye Blacktop," and sang it at the party:

Goodbye isn't always such a bad thing
Losing something never felt this good
I don't mean to be mean, but I'm happy to see you leave,
So I'm saying peace, you belong in the street.

Goodbye, black top, hello green,
No more pavement to skin my knees
I'll have things to climb and swing
No more snow hills and bulldozing
So I'm saying peace, you belong in the street.

Hello playground, goodbye pavement
We play in a car lot that is vacant
If I fall and land head first
Now I won't have to go to the nurse.
So I'm saying peace, you belong in the street.

Now it's cool and safe to play at school
And we owe everything to the Irving Schoolyard team.


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Reader Comments

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Josh from Oak Park  

Posted: June 7th, 2013 4:22 PM

I feel for those who are looking for real grass but I have to say, look at Longfellow park, it was re-sodded last year and now it looks like Beirut after a season of baseball & soccer, even the new sod at Longfellow school isn't looking too healthy.

Not easy being green  

Posted: June 7th, 2013 2:37 PM

So after spending a million dollars, Irving kids will still be the only ones in the district without real grass to play on, while the kids from the wealthier schools will now be able to play their soccer games without having to drive to Berwyn. Sounds like a win win.

OP Resident # 545 from Oak Park  

Posted: June 6th, 2013 4:06 PM

not easy: no, the idea was to provide a safe, more useable playground & field, one that could be used despite bad weather & also provide the community with another much needed sports/activity field. To simply replace the blacktop with grass wasn't realistic, nor is it a prudent investment. Also, the design gives the school a safer layout for the playground. Being "green" for "green's" sake really isn't practical in this community. Not enough land/space.

Not easy being green I guess  

Posted: June 6th, 2013 3:12 PM

I guess the new petroleum-based surface will literally be "green", but I thought the plan was to provide some actual grass/nature for the kids? How is artificial turf--whatever color-- more "green" for the kids than the blacktop was?

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