Rockford to receive EPA assistance over brownfields

Published: Jun. 16, 2020 at 11:55 AM CDT
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The city of Rockford will receive direct technical assistance from the EPA Land Revitalization Program to design a Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy for an area 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, according to a statement from the city of Rockford on Tuesday.

Approximately 870 properties in the city of Rockford meet this definition. A team of professionals contracted by the EPA and working with the city will lead the Revitalization Strategy, according to the statement.

The City of Rockford claims 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. The Revitalization Strategy will focus on an area surrounding the South Main 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," according to the statement.

Public input and comments can be sent to Robert Wilhelmi, City of Rockford Brownfields Redevelopment Specialist, at or 779-348-7425. More information on the Brownfields Redevelopment Initiative can be found on the city’s website