Light The Diamonds Project

The WPPA is excited to announce a new project, that we think will not only benefit the WPPA community, but the larger North Center and Lincoln Square communities.  We want to bring lights to the Welles Park baseball and softball diamonds!

We have a long way to go in this project, but we have momentum, and are excited to engage with community members and constituencies to ensure that our project serves our entire community.

Do you support our project and want to continue to receive updates?  Click here and share with us why you are in support!

Where Will The Lights Go?

As shown in the image, the proposal entails placing 11, 60-foot poles around the exterior of the park, with one pole going immediately next to the scoreboard by the Senior baseball diamond.  These lights will provide appropriate levels of lighting for us to play games at all of our fields except Rookie.  That’s 280 more games in our spring season alone!

What Will The Lights Look Like?

The light poles themselves will be barely 2 feet in diameter, and will be equipped with LED technology so as to efficiently aim light onto the playing field.  The best part about these lights is that they will minimize light “bleed”, which more traditional lighting options suffer from.

 

The fields seem fine, why do we need lights?

The WPPA offers baseball and softball to approximately 1,600 players aged 4 through 19 every Spring. We play more than 700 games at Welles Park alone yet we still have a waitlist for families that want to play baseball or softball partially due to lack of playing space.  Adding lights will allow us to reduce or perhaps eliminate our wait list by giving us the field space for 280 more field slots (games and practices) at Welles Park in the Spring season alone.

Welles Park is one of the only Northside parks without lights, and we think it’s time for that to change.

But the lights won’t just benefit the WPPA.  The lights will benefit the entire Welles Park community.  With the lights on, the park will be safer at night, increase foot traffic to local businesses and restaurants, and will be available for other park activities year-round.

March 11 - Community Meeting

On March 11, 2021, the WPPA hosted a community meeting for more than 150 participants during which the WPPA presented an overview of its plan and read and responded to more than 100 questions and comments from participants.  The records of the comments, questions and responses that were discussed are in the link below:

Responses to Community Q&A

How Can I Help and Get Involved?

We need your help.  If you are a local business owner or resident, we want to hear from you.  You can e-mail your support or concern to: lights@wppachicago.org.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much will the lights cost and who will pay?

WPPA will pay the costs of installing the lights on the fields through a series of grants and other fundraising activities.

What kind of lights are we talking?

These lights will be different than those currently at the Welles Park tennis courts and the ones at Hamlin park.  These will be LED lights with a greater ability to control light direction and thus light “spill” out onto neighboring streets and buildings.

Where will the lighting poles go, and how big will they be?

The poles will primarily be placed around the exterior of the Welles Park baseball diamonds.  One exception is that a pole will be placed near our Minor field scoreboard.  Each pole will be 60 feet tall and will have a diameter of about 2 feet.

Who controls the lights once they are installed?

The Chicago Park District will primarily be in charge of the lights.  However, during the baseball season, select members of the WPPA Board will have the ability to turn the lights off in time for our self-imposed curfew of 9:30p.

When will the lights go off each night?

During the baseball season, the WPPA plans to implement a 9:30p “curfew”.  During the rest of the year, the Chicago Park District will determine when the lights go on/off.

When will the lights be installed?

Assuming all goes to plan, we hope to break ground in Q1 2022.

© 2021 Welles Park Parents Association.
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