Non-profit seeks to build ‘vintage’ baseball field on South Bend’s southeast side
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - It could be a game changer for South Bend’s southeast side where a not-for-profit group is soliciting donations for the Foundry Field Campaign.
Foundry Field would be a high-quality public access baseball park designed to bring vitality to the city’s urban core.
It would be built on the far east portion of South Bend’s Southeast Park near the intersection of High and Wenger Streets.
“It’s located in the urban core, and that’s so important because so many of our facilities, and particularly our baseball facilities have migrated to the suburbs, or migrated to where they’re hard to get to, and where the fields are concrete and aluminum and are kind of cookie cutter, and we want to be a part of making unique spaces that are beautiful that revitalize our inner city, and are accessible to everybody,” Foundry Field Campaign Chairman Matthew Insley told 16 News Now.
The field itself would be of the “vintage variety,” with a home run fence partially comprised of hedges. It would be the kind of park you might see if you went to a ballgame about 100 years ago.
“It’s named after the Foundry Giants, a predominantly black team that played in the Studebaker Industrial League in the 1920′s, and 30′s and we want to tell their story,” Insley explained.
The project would be part baseball field, part living history museum, and 100 percent located in the underserved inner-city core.
“The best thing that could come out of all of this is to have a beautiful asset in the southeast neighborhood and to have kids streaming to the park to play ball. To have coaches investing in kids, to have kids having transformative experiences with mentors and coaches and parents and neighbors, in their neighborhood,” Insley said.
The total project promises to be in the neighborhood of $500,000.
The State of Indiana is poised to provide a jump start to the fundraising campaign. The state is offering a $50,000 matching grant through the Creating Places program, if the Foundry Field Campaign can raise $50,000 through crowd funding efforts by November 5th.
People understand intuitively yes, we need to invest in our city, and in our parks, and in our neighborhoods in order to have vibrant beautiful places to live. This is a field for the common good and we expect the common person to contribute to it,” said Insley.
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