LINCOLN SQUARE — A volunteer nonprofit that organizes baseball and softball programs in Lincoln Square wants to install lights and host night games at Welles Park.
The group is even willing to foot the bill to have the lights installed. But the organizers want community feedback before moving forward.
“We think it’ll benefit the broader Welles Park community,” said David Saunders, the Welles Park Parents Association’s secretary. “But step one for us is to make sure the community is on board with it.”
The association’s plans will be presented at a virtual meeting 6:30 p.m. March 11. The association is asking people to RSVP online.
“We see a number of benefits to the park and broader community, including increasing foot traffic for businesses around Welles Park around dinner time,” Saunders said. “And other park-based programs like football, movie night at the park or the Midnight Circus could also benefit from having a little more light.”
There are five baseball diamonds at Welles Park, but the association only wants lights at four of them. The middle field near Lincoln Avenue, where the games for the association’s youngest players are hosted, doesn’t make sense for night games, Saunders said.
The Welles Park Parent’s Association was founded in 1990 and serves more than 1,600 kids and teens ages 5-19.
In addition to Welles Park, the nonprofit association uses diamonds at Winnemac Park, Legion Park, Green Briar Park, Mather Park, Hollywood Park and River Park to host softball and baseball games.
“But we just don’t have enough field space to actually meet the demand that we have from parents and kids who want to play,” Saunders said. “Unfortunately, even with the half-dozen parks we’re already at, we’re simply out of space.”
Subscribe to Block Club Chicago. Every dime we make funds reporting from Chicago’s neighborhoods.