Join your neighbors in providing input on how Field School should improve its outdoor space this Thursday, February 16, during an open house at the school, 7019 N. Ashland, Room 215, from 12:00 noon until 4:00 p.m.
Field is a recipient of a Space to Grow grant, which funds schoolyard makeovers that improve recreational space and reduce storm water flooding. This is an open house, so feel free to drop in anytime between 12:oo noon and 4:00 p.m.
Parking is available off the Greenleaf Avenue parking lot entrance. You may enter the school through the middle door on Ashland Avenue or the Lunt Avenue Entrance, underneath the big clock.
I am thrilled that these long overdue improvements to Field’s outdoor space are finally taking place. This open house is your first chance to provide input on how the improvements can best serve students and the community.
Based on the feedback heard at Thursday’s open house, the Space to Grow team will put together a proposed plan for schoolyard improvements. They will present the plan on Thursday, March 2nd at Field School at a time to be determined. I will let you know as soon as the meeting time is set.
The Field School grounds have long needed attention. During the 1990s when Field was severely overcrowded, Chicago Public Schools installed several classroom trailers on the parking lot to alleviate the overcrowding. The overcrowding problem was solved upon the opening of New Field school in 2003 and most of the trailers were removed, but one remained.
Over the years, the community and I undertook many efforts to get CPS to remove the remaining trailer, but to no avail. At the same time, Field’s playground equipment fell into disrepair and CPS did not have funding to replace it.
Also, despite the school’s name, Field School’s grounds are not a field, but are almost entirely covered with asphalt, limiting recreational opportunities and contributing to storm water run-off.
Fortunately the Space to Grow grant provides funding to address these issues. The trailer will be removed and Field’s students and the community will enjoy a brand new playground. The asphalt footprint also will be reduced.
Space to Grow is a partnership of CPS, the United States Environmental Protection Agency and Openlands, an open space advocacy organization. The grants are funded through the City of Chicago Department of Water Management, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Metropolitan Chicago and CPS’s capital budget.
Part of the Healthy Schools Campaign, Space to Grow supports improvements to outdoor spaces for youth and utilizes green infrastructure, such as native grasses and permeable surfaces, to reduce the pressure on our storm water system.
I hope you can stop by Field School this Thursday afternoon to provide your input on a project that promises to be a big improvement for the school and the entire community.