Blackberry Township recently received a Grand Victoria Riverboat Fund check administered through Kane County.
“The money from the grant was used to pay for a boundary survey and field tile survey of the 62 acres that Blackberry Township received from the Forest Preserve District of Kane County as a result of an intergovernmental agreement,” a news release from Blackberry Township said. “The township signed a 20-year lease for the property, which will over time be developed in cooperation with local youth sport groups into sport fields. Blackberry Township is working with four sport groups – soccer, football, baseball and softball, [and] lacrosse – to develop the land. Each sport group will be responsible for raising the money and development of their own designated spaces.”
Blackberry Township does not have a park and recreation program, so the intergovernmental agreement with the Forest Preserve District of Kane County and the collaborative efforts of the various sport groups was necessary to make the sport fields a reality, the release said. Blackberry Township also received some revenue from the county, which is part of the land-cash agreement to develop projects, such as the sport complex, the release states.
“Blackberry Township is taking the lead on the project and has assumed some of the expense for developing a plan, but only with community support will the project become a reality,” the release said. “The township is seeking additional grant funds to pay for engineering costs for the internal roadway and parking areas. In the future, funds will be sought to do actual infrastructure work and to fund a source for electricity and water.”
The earliest the township will have access to the property is 2017. Because the project is going to be developed over time, the land will continue to be farmland in any area not being developed, the release states.
In addition to sport fields for several hundred youth, the long-term plans include walking and bike paths, as well as a play area. The future sport area is south of the former McNair baseball field on Bateman Road, states the release.
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