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updated: 1/6/2013 8:59 PM

Leftover NATO funds to help improve Chicago parks

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Associated Press

Chicago parks and cultural programs will get a multi-million dollar funding boost thanks to last year's NATO Summit.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced Sunday that an additional $2 million in private funds left over from last year's meeting of world leaders will be invested in neighborhood parks and cultural programs. Chicago hosted the two-day meeting in May.

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Emanuel says the money will be used to build a new park playground in North Lawndale at the Frazier schools and improve existing parks, including by upgrading lights and turf.

These funds will also double the number of performances of Circus in the Parks and extend the program to new parks and new audiences.

Emanuel says he hopes the initiative will help to ensure that every Chicagoan lives in walking distance from a park.

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