City officials and neighborhood residents turned out for ceremonies Saturday morning to celebrate completion of improvement projects at two Evanston parks.

Ribbon cutting

Alderman Lionel Jean-Baptiste gets help from neighborhood youngsters to cut the ceremonial ribbon ata Smith Park with a giant scissors.

The projects at Smith Park, at the corner of Ashland Avenue and Lyons Street, and Megowan Park on Hinman Avenue north of South Boulevard, were funded with general obligation bonds as part of the city’s capital improvement plan and a Community Development Block Grant.

Alderman Melissa Wynne, 3rd Ward, handled the ribbon cutting at Megowan Park, while Alderman Lionel Jean-Baptiste, 2nd Ward, wielded the scissors at Smith Park.

The one-acre Smith Park, which last had a facelift in 1992, is named for Elnora Smith, a long-time teacher and physical education supervisor in Evanston elementary schools.

The $370,000 renovation project provided new playgorund equipment and surfacing, benches and picnic tables, a drinking fountain, landscaping, fencing and paving.

The half-acre Megowan Park, last renovated in 1988, received similar improvements.

Plans for the renovations were developed at a series of public meetings in the neighborhoods last fall.

See more pictures of the Smith Park ceremony in this photo gallery.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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