Mayor Emanuel, Chicago Park District Announce Plans for Artificial Turf Field at Chase Park
City officials also open new park development on near West Side
Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Chicago Park District General Superintendent Michael Kelly and Alderman Ameya Pawar announced plans to build a new, 77,000 square foot artificial turf field at Chase Park, which will include a soccer field and two baseball fields. City officials also opened a new park development on the near West Side at 2515 W. Jackson Boulevard.
“Over the past three years, we’ve added 80 new artificial turf fields to neighborhoods throughout the City so that kids can play baseball, soccer and football more consistently after rain and over longer seasons,” said Mayor Emanuel. “Since 2011, we’ve added nearly 1,000 acres of new park space, have broken ground on and have opened many new park developments and are on track to rebuild or refurbish hundreds of playgrounds so that Chicago residents, families and children are within a 10 minute walk of safe places to gather, play and stay active.”
The new artificial turf field at Chase Park will replace an existing field. In addition to the new turf field, upgrades will be made to lighting the existing four-lane track will be resurfaced and restriped. The total cost of the project is expected to be $2 million, and will be paid for with Park District funds.
“This multi-purpose turf field is a great addition to Chase Park, which already offers a fitness center and an outdoor pool,” said Superintendent Kelly. “Coupled with the programming we offer year round to residents of all ages, the Park District is partnering with Mayor Emanuel to strengthen our City by investing in our parks and in our neighborhoods.”
Artificial turf fields reduce maintenance cost by eliminating the use of harmful pesticides, fertilizers and herbicides. They also conserve water, as a typical grass soccer or football field can use between 2.5 and 3.5 million gallons of water annually. In addition, artificial turf lowers the risk of injuries to athletes using the field, as turf is engineered to be stable, firm, non-abrasive and uniform in traction.
“I want to thank Chase Park Manager Katie Fearon-Peon and the Chase Park Advisory Council for their tireless advocacy on behalf of Chase Park and all of the families who enjoy the park each and every day,” said Alderman Pawar. “Mayor Emanuel and Superintendent Kelly have been great partners and leaders in improving our parks, not only in the 47th Ward, but throughout the entire City of Chicago. This latest investment in Chase Park is a crucial step in completing the transformation of Lawrence Avenue, which includes a new outdoor campus at McPherson School, the Lawrence Avenue Streetscape, and the Ravenswood Station Retail Development.”
This is just the latest of the new artificial turf fields announced by Mayor Emanuel. Three new turf fields at Lindblom Park, Lincoln Park and National Teachers Academy are scheduled to be open later this fall, and six additional artificial turf fields are planned for 2015.
Earlier today, Mayor Emanuel, Superintendent Kelly and Alderman Walter Burnett cut the ribbon on a park in Jackson Square (formerly Rockwell Gardens), a new park development on the previously vacant 2.27 acre site adjacent to the Chicago Housing Authority’s (CHA) Rockwell Gardens development. This new park was part of a land exchange with the CHA in 2008.
This new park boasts a new, rubberized soft surface playground with unique and challenging pieces of play equipment, including a 73 foot zip line, a 22 foot slide and multiple climbing features. The development includes wood fibar surfacing with varied topography throughout the park, in addition to a one-mile walking trail with multiple fitness stations and a large open lawn area that can be used for concerts, picnics and other activities.
"I am so proud of the new developments in the 27th ward,” said Alderman Burnett. “Consider this new park development holistically: this will only complement the new houses and new businesses being brought into our area.”
The park will provide approximately 94,961 square feet of new open space for the near West Side community, which boasts a growing population. Construction began last fall, and the project was funded by $2.75 million in Open Space Impact Fees (OSIF).
Today’s events underscore the major announcements the Mayor has previously made regarding parks, including Mayor Emanuel’s Chicago Plays! program that will rebuild or refurbish 325 playgrounds throughout the City over five years.
For more information about the Chicago Park District’s more than 8,100 acres of parkland, more than 580 parks, 26 miles of lakefront, nine museums, two world-class conservatories, 16 historic lagoons, nearly 50 nature areas, thousands of special events, sports and entertaining programs, please contact the Chicago Park District at 312/742.PLAY or 312/747.2001 (TTY). Want to share your talent? Volunteer in the parks by calling, 312/742.PLAY.