(Plain Press, October 2017) At public meeting, on September 21st, at Pilgrim Church on W. 14th, area residents had an opportunity to learn about plans for Clark Field. The meeting, hosted by Ward 3 Councilman Kerry McCormack, revealed plans for both the environmental clean-up of Clark Field and plans for the features the park will include when it is refurbished after the clean-up. On hand to answer questions from the audience were members of the Ohio EPA, representatives of the Mayor’s Office of Capital Projects, and the City of Cleveland Department of Public Works. Also in attendance was Landscape Architect Jim McKnight, who is involved in the design of the future of the park.
McKnight says current plans call for the environmental clean-up and treatment of the park to be completed in 2018 and the redesign of the park to be completed by the end of 2019.
The 41.5 acre Clark Fields Park, located northeast of the intersection of W. 11th and Clark, has been closed for several years due to environmental contamination.
A statement issued by the United States Environmental Protection Agency outlines some of the history of the discovery of contamination at Clark Field. The U.S. EPA’s statement says, “In 2013-2014, the City of Cleveland conducted environmental assessments as part of the procedure to perform improvements to the park and found high concentrations of lead, arsenic and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAKs, present in the soil. Upon learning of the contamination, the city stopped issuing permits for organized recreational activities in the park. On Feb 23, 2016, based on the results of the environmental investigations, the city requested U.S. EPA to assist cleaning up the site.”
U.S. EPA’s plans for the clean-up and containment of the environmental contamination in the park include placing a two-foot thick soil layer on top of contaminated portions of the park. The cleanup will also include installation of drainage along the perimeter of the park and removal of some soil and debris.
Following the Environmental clean-up, Clark Field’s Park will be redesigned to offer a wide variety of activities. Plans call for basketball courts, tennis courts, baseball fields, flag football fields, football and soccer fields. There will be two dog parks, one for large dogs and one for small dogs. The park will have two play zones, one for children ages 2 to 5 years, and one for children ages 5 -12 years. The park will have a splash pad as well as swings. There will also be several plazas and shelters. Part of the towpath trail (stage 3), which will go from Steelyard Commons to Literary Road, will run through Clark Fields Park. This section of the towpath trail is, currently, under construction and is scheduled for completion in October of 2018.
Beverly Wurm of Friends of Clark Field says she is thus far pleased with the work Landscape Architect Jim McKnight has presented for the redesign of the park. Friends of Clark Field hope to, once again, plan activities in the park when the redesign of the park is complete.
Editor’s Note: Residents wishing to find documents related to the cleanup can visit the U.S. EPA’s website at: www.epa.gov/il/tremont-field-site, or visit the local repository at the Cleveland Public Library’s Jefferson Branch at 850 Jefferson Avenue. The US EPA refers to Clark Fields Park as the Tremont Fields Site.