Long Awaited Clark Field Park Groundbreaking
Apr 08, 2022
Cleveland (April 8, 2022) – Join Mayor Justin Bibb, Councilman Kerry McCormack, Council President Blaine A. Griffin and Friends of Clark Field members on Sat. April 9, for the long-awaited groundbreaking of Clark Field Park.
The ceremonial ground breaking starts the nearly $2.9 million plan to build a brand new park, including a picnic shelter, play areas, water splash pad, basketball and tennis/pickle ball courts. A walking loop will be included and the dog park will be relocated, and there will be a new entrance to the park just north of the Towpath Trailhead that was recently completed. Field sports will be accommodated on informal lawn areas and the eastern portion of the park will become a naturalized meadow with tree plantings.
“For many years the community has been an integral part of the success of Clark Field Park in Tremont,” said Councilman McCormack, who represents the area. “Following the demolition of the park and subsequent cleanup work performed by the EPA and Sewer District, the neighborhood rallied to help design and rebuild the new park.
“I want to especially thank Beverly Wurm, Friends of Clark Field and Tremont West Development Corporation for their tireless efforts to ensure that the community has a high quality park to enjoy for many years to come.”
Last November, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency completed the $5.5 million cleanup of contaminated soil at the Clark Field park site which completed the necessary improvements needed to reclaim the park for people. But the journey to reclaiming the 50 acres back to a park has been lengthy.
In the late 1940s, Cleveland bought a farm and some government property to use as a recreation area for area residents. In the early 1950’s the city of Cleveland put in a football field and two baseball diamonds, then built a stadium, concession stands and restrooms.
For several decades, Lincoln High School and Cleveland Central Catholic High School played football games on Friday nights and often practiced there during the week. Tennis courts were built and children were enrolled in city-sponsored tennis leagues and tournaments. Every child in the program received a free tennis racket and lessons.
Over the years, the park deteriorated, the stadium was demolished and while baseball teams still played there, the park became a dumping ground. Friends of Clark Field formed in 2002 and they cleaned up the park, planted trees, set up picnic benches and created the first dog park in Cleveland.
In the 2010’s teams came back to the park, as did Friday night movies, Easter egg hunts, Halloween parties, craft days and more. But in 2015 the city stopped issuing permits for events and sports for soil testing, and the tests revealed contamination.
"Parks like Clark Field help improve the quality of life for the residents in our neighborhoods” Mayor Bibb said. “It is a priority for us to ensure that everyone has walkable access to outdoor courts, play areas and recreation centers throughout the city. This is an exciting time for the Tremont Community and the city of Cleveland."
- Who: Mayor Bibb, Councilman McCormack, Beverly Wurm and others from Friends of Clark Field and Tremont West CDC.
- What: Ground breaking for Clark Field Park
- Where: 10 am, Sat. April 9th , park at the West 7th entrance – in old lot