State’s Investment Will Clean Up Site to Create New Public Sports Fields and Green Space for Future Generations
CHICAGO — Governor Pat Quinn today announced a $2 million state investment to clean up land to allow Kerry Wood Cubs Field to move forward. The project was halted nearly a year ago when environmental contaminants were discovered. The cleanup will allow work to continue on the seven-acre site that will be utilized by students throughout Chicago and include baseball, soccer and other sports fields, green space and seating for more than 1,000 people. The move is part of Governor Quinn’s agenda to ensure a clean and healthy environment for future generations.
“Kerry Wood helped the Cubs make many comebacks during his storied career, and today we are helping him make one more,” Governor Quinn said. “This investment will kick-start this important project to turn an old industrial site into a state-of-the-art sports center for youth and families throughout the city.”
“I’m grateful to Governor Quinn and the state of Illinois for their support in providing a safe environment for Chicago's kids,” Wood said. “Kerry Wood Cubs Field will be a special place for our community for years to come. Having been drafted out of high school, I know the importance of having a place to play. Keeping baseball alive in our city is something that is close to my heart. I’m excited for our kids to play under the lights and start their own dreams. Anything is possible.”
“I'd like to thank Governor Quinn for helping to ensure Kerry Wood Cubs Field will become a reality for youth and families across Chicago," Chicago Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts said. "This is a testament to the collective power of Illinois' strong public, private and individual efforts to improve the quality of life in neighborhoods and communities."
“This is a great example of cooperation between the state, the city and the Cubs that allows us to complete Kerry Wood Cubs Field and build an amateur sports complex all Chicagoans will be proud to use,” U.S. Representative Mike Quigley said. “It’s an honor to be a part of this effort to give our community access to a resource that I know will create a tremendous home field advantage.”
“After hearing from Lane Tech parents frustrated with delays, I’m pleased to have worked with the Governor Pat Quinn and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to clean up and revive this space for the community to enjoy,” Illinois Senate President John Cullerton said.
"This wonderful addition to our community will benefit all who live in this neighborhood," State Representative Ann Williams said. "Thank you to Governor Quinn and the Chicago Cubs for their efforts to make this dream a reality."
"Kerry Wood’s contributions on the field have been eclipsed only by his contributions to Chicago and our children, and this field is one more landmark to his legacy,” Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said. “I want to thank Kerry and the Governor for their efforts to move this project forward and help ensure that every child in the city has access to a world-class park.”
“I am grateful for Governor Quinn’s leadership and his steadfast commitment to public schools, parks and the community at-large,” Alderman Ameya Pawar (47th) said. “As a result of his commitment, the long-standing vision for Clark Park will soon become a reality. In under just three years, he’s directed over $12 million in state funds to parks and schools in the 47th ward. I am thankful to have such a great partner.”
Kerry Wood Cubs Field will be built on a property located at 3457 N. Rockwell St., which is contaminated from its former use as a brick yard. The state’s investment, through the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA), will fund the removal of contaminated soil, followed by site grading and leveling. The contamination is limited to the site and there are no safety issues for the surrounding area.
“This project is a great example of the work we do every day to improve Illinois communities by cleaning up contaminated sites to benefit residents and young people,” IEPA Director Lisa Bonnett said.
Once complete, Kerry Wood Cubs Field will be run by the Chicago Park District. It will serve nearby Lane Tech High School and other public high schools throughout the city, and be available to recreational leagues and the general public.
The field will meet the regulations of the Illinois High School Association (IHSA), making it eligible to host state baseball playoffs. Currently many students who play baseball at Chicago high schools have to travel out of the city to play on fields that meet IHSA regulations.
The construction of the $5 million project is supported by contributions from the Cubs, Chicago Cubs Charities, the Wood Family Foundation, the City of Chicago, the Chicago Park District, Chicago Public Schools and Turner Construction.