ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF)–The Chicago Bears have reached out to Rockford’s youth in the past. They’ve held Flag Football camps for kids, and they’ve donated money to support the Girls High School Football League in Rockford. Now the Bears are reaching out again.

They are donating the turf inside their indoor practice facility in Lake Forest the Walter Payton Center to the Rockford Park District. The turf will be placed at Clarence Hicks Memorial Sports Park on Rockford’s southwest side which hosts numerous youth flag football leagues and other youth sports activities through the summer and fall.

The turf became available because the Bears are installing new turf at the Walter Payton Center. The Bears are donating the turf and infill material and Act Global is doinating labor towards installing the turf at Hicks Memorial Park. The turf is expected to be installed and ready for us by the summer of 2024.

“We are thrilled that the Chicago Bears organization chose to donate Walter Payton Center turf to provide a one-of-a kind experience for anyone who utilizes this ports facilty,” said Lamont Jones, Rockford Park District General Manager of Hicks Memorial Park and Youth Sports Prgrams and Community Outreach. “Youth and teens will be playing on turf that was played on by some of the greatest Chicago Bears athletes of all time.” The Chicago Bears are always so generous with their resources, and it is making a significant difference in the lives of area youth.”

Once the turf is installed in Rockford, signs will be placed around it informing people about where the turf was originally located, and the signs will highlight some of the Chicago Bears players who played on the turf.