Rockford, Illinois News

Rockford included in EPA revitalization program

Staff Report

ROCKFORD – The City of Rockford has been selected to receive direct technical assistance from the United States Environmental Protection Agency Land Revitalization Program to design a Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy for
areas affected by brownfields.

Brownfields are properties where the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. Approximately 870 properties in the city of Rockford meet this definition. Cleaning up and reinvesting in these properties increases local tax bases, facilitates job growth, utilizes existing infrastructure, takes development pressures off of undeveloped, open land, and both improves and protects the environment.

The Revitalization Strategy will focus on an area surrounding the South Main Street corridor, which aligns with the target area of a $300,000 EPA Brownfields Assessment Grant that was awarded in 2019.

The strategy will serve as a platform to revitalize the residential areas parallel to brownfield and other redevelopment efforts. It will also engage area stakeholders and promote the use and growth of valuable assets, such as Klehm Arboretum, Tinker Swiss Cottage, Graham-Ginestra House, Ethnic Heritage Museum, and Rockford Park District facilities.

A team of professionals contracted by the EPA and working with the city will lead
the Revitalization Strategy.

Public input and comments are welcomed and can sent to Robert Wilhelmi, City of Rockford Brownfields Redevelopment Specialist, at Robert.wilhelmi@rockfordil.gov or 779.348.7425. More information on the city’s Brownfields Redevelopment Initiative can be found on the city’s website.