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$2.6M EPA Cleanup Grant Award

Friends,

A big piece of the Pillsbury Project financial puzzle has come together…Thank you EPA for being such a great partner in our progress!

Moving Pillsbury Forward is pleased to announce that the Pillsbury Project has been awarded the full $2,652,300 we applied for through the EPA Brownfield Cleanup Grant Program. With this award we now have the resources necessary to fully remediate (cleanup) the remaining environmental hazards at the former Pillsbury site. And…begin demolition of the remaining structures.

MPF anticipates that the necessary government reviews of our remediation and demolition plan will be completed in the coming weeks. Following that, we will hire contractors and move to get the structures at the site remediated and demolished. We are aiming at having these large-scale site activities begin in the Fall.

We are grateful to the many community partners that have stepped up and moved this project forward. Locally, the Springfield Sangamon Growth Alliance (SSGA) and the Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln (CFLL) have been strong supporting partners from the beginning. The City of Springfield and Sangamon County have embraced and supported the project. At the State level, Senator Turner has led a strong effort and been one of our first community supporters. At the Federal level, Senator Durbin and Representative Budzinski have been tremendous in their support. And, again locally, the hundreds of community members that encouraged and supported progress.

Springfield Mayor Misty Buscher, whose administration has been instrumental in getting committed funds readied for use on the project said “The EPA’s selection of Moving Pillsbury Forward in Springfield for a $2,652,300 Brownfields Cleanup grant is a significant development. This funding will be instrumental in revitalizing the former Pillsbury plant, a site with a history in grain milling, manufacturing, and warehousing operations from 1929 to 2001. This 18-acre complex holds tremendous potential for our community.

How did this happen? With the coordinated efforts of a grassroots, community-centered, working group that formed into a not-for-profit. Members of our community that care about health and safety, care about social and environmental justice, and care about moving the whole community forward economically. 

Thanks for being a part of this important community project.

~ Team Pillsbury

Link to EPA Announcement 5/20/24: https://www.epa.gov/newsreleases/epa-announces-more-17-million-brownfield-grants-through-investing-america-agenda

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Spring News & Open House

Friends,

We just wanted to share a few items today.  

Memorial Day Open House Reminder

We are hosting a Memorial Day (5/17) Open House from 9:00 to Noon. The dock area (16ht St. & Phillips Ave.) will be open for viewing of the “Roll Call” wall and a new street art tribute to former Pillsbury workers. Many families with connections to Pillsbury have expressed an interest. We hope this gives everyone a chance to gather and reconnect with friends. Hope to see you there.

Recycling of Bricks

The total ended up being over 500 tons! This past month we connected with a brick recycler who brought in a crew and harvest brick from the remains of Warehouses #4 and #5. Over 20 semi-truck loads of brick left the site and will be used in new construction in the coming months. Here are the numbers: 600 stacked bricks per pallet. 332 full pallets of bricks. 199,200 total bricks!
Each pallet weighed approximately 3,075 pounds. 1,020,900 total pounds! And…at no cost to us…wonderful. 

Metal Recycling

Volunteers have hand-loaded and recycled nearly 50 tons of loose metal from the site since January 1st. Yah…that’s a lot of metal…about twelve 20-yard dumpsters full. This was our on-site volunteer focus for the past four months. A huge effort completed by some wonderful volunteers – thank you! 

Pillsbury Neighborhood Spring Clean Up

A big success. Thank You! Volunteer Med Students from SIU teamed up with Pillsbury Neighborhood volunteers to do a Spring clean up in the 55-block neighborhood on May 3rd. The effort collected over 50 pieces of junk furniture, 30 televisions, 75 used tires, and filled a 30-yard dumpster of collected litter by the end of the day. Special thanks to our Neighborhood Police Officers for participating and to Public Works for efficiently hauling the junk away!

Feral Cat Population Management

We partnered with APL in February and March to address our feral cat challenge at Pillsbury. Over the course of a few weeks, Larry the Cat Wrangler was successful in trapping several feral cats. Each cat was spayed or neutered then released back to the property. Thanks APL for providing such a great service to our community!

April Historic Tours

What a great turnout! We had good weather both Saturdays in April. Nearly 600 people took one of our four tours. We heard several new stories and had a generally great time. Pillsbury truly was a special part of our community.

Thanks for being a part of this important community project.

~ Team Pillsbury

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Memorial Day Open House 9-Noon

Friends,

Moving Pillsbury Forward will host an open house at Pillsbury from 9am to Noon on Memorial Day, May 27. The dock area (16th St. & Phillips Ave) will be open for viewing of the “Roll Call” wall and a new street art tribute to former Pillsbury workers. 

We now have over 1300 employee names on the “Roll Call” wall. Local artist and granddaughter of a long-time Pillsbury worker, Jen Santarelli, has been keeping up with additions to the wall this past month and we have had many requests for another opportunity to gather with friends and family for photos. Well…we decided Memorial Day is perhaps the best opportunity for a community gathering. Come on out and enjoy this impressive tribute to the workers.

Engraved Pillsbury bricks will be available for purchase for $20 each. We have a limited supply in-stock. And, a site history and discussion about the Pillsbury Project will take place starting at 11am. We look forward to seeing you on Memorial Day!

Thanks for being a part of this important community project.

Team Pillsbury 

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Volunteer Opportunity on Friday, May 3, 2024

Friends,

Moving Pillsbury Forward has partnered with the Pillsbury Neighborhood Association, SIU-Med School Students, and the City of Springfield to initiate a Spring cleanup in the Pillsbury Neighborhood. 

Friday morning from 9:30 to Noon we will be picking up litter in the neighborhood and collecting bulky items (tires, televisions, furniture, etc.) in an effort to improve the quality of life for the neighborhood residents. 

Here are the details:

  • Meet at the corner of 15th St. and Phillips Ave. (Pillsbury’s front yard) starting at 9am.  
  • Trash bags, gloves, safety vest, and bottled water will be provided.
  • Sign-in tent volunteers will be prepared to get you started.

This is MPF’s 5th year in partnering in this Spring cleanup initiative. Please join us if you can.

Thanks for being a part of this important community project.

~ Team Pillsbury

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Thieves and Tresspass

 Friends,

We generally try to keep things positive regarding the overall Pillsbury Project.  We have many good things happening: 200 tons of brick recycling, street art, historic tours, an ever growing employee names wall, neighborhood garden, and a new micro-pantry that has over 100 pounds of food donated and distributed to those in need every week. All good stuff.

The not-so-good stuff is dealing with the recently increasing incidents of trespass and metal thieves at the site. Unfortunately, we have had to make several police reports of incidents these past few weeks. And we have had to take time and efforts to repair fence holes, more tightly secure potential entry areas, and take on-site safety measures that slow our progress.

Yes…the Spring weather may have something to do with it.  And yes…we know the site has a few attractive features that some people just cannot resist…even at the risk of their own safety.  And…yes…this has been going on for over 20 years!

This past week late night thieves placed a board out a second floor window to access and steal some of our last remaining copper flashing on the front of Warehouse #7 (see attached photo).  Wow! That is one of the craziest and riskiest things we have seen at the site!

No…these crazy activities don’t overshadow the good things that are happening with the Pillsbury Project. But, occasionally, they do make us take pause and remind ourselves exactly why we are doing it. We don’t want to see anything tragic happen before these structures come down.

Thanks for being a part of this important community project.

~ Team Pillsbury

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200 Tons of Brick Packaged for Re-Use

Friends,

Moving Pillsbury Forward is celebrating Earthday with a huge effort to have our bricks from Warehouses #4 & #5 recycled for use in new buildings. Over the course of the next two weeks over 200 tons of brick from the Pillsbury Plant will be sorted, stacked on pallets, and hauled to new construction sites where the bricks will be re-used. We are working with a midwest brick recycler that brought in a crew and all the equipment to get the job done at no cost to us.

The overall project is aimed at recycling over 95% of the bulk materials (concrete, wood, brick, and metal) from the structures as they come down. Last year we recycled over 40 tons of wood timbers and 100 tons of metal from the site. It is great to see the forward progress with a project design that is earth friendly. 

Thanks for being a part of this important community project!

~ Team Pillsbury

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April plant tours were well attended – Thank You!

Friends,

The attendance and response to our last round of ground tours at the site was tremendous. The four tours over the two Saturdays resulted in 600 people getting to see the buildings up close and hear about the overall Pillsbury Project as-well-as the rich history of the Springfield Pillsbury plant. Several former employees and families added to the tours and gave those in attendance a great first-person perspective.

The “Roll Call” employee names wall was also a special addition for those in attendance at the tours. Local artist, Jen Santarelli (granddaughter of longtime Pillsbury employee Walter Santarelli), added more names to the wall these past two weeks. The total is now approaching 1300. We are excited to see this piece continue to grow. Jen is glad to add names as necessary. She can be reached at: 

Jan Santarelli “Roll Call” memorial wall for Pillsbury workers.

The “Roll Call” employee names wall was also a special addition for those in attendance at the tours. Local artist, Jen Santarelli (granddaughter of longtime Pillsbury employee Walter Santarelli), added more names to the wall these past two weeks. The total is now approaching 1300. We are excited to see this piece continue to grow. Jen is glad to add names as necessary. She can be reached at: 

Finally, we sold out of engraved bricks during the last tour. More bricks have been sent to the engraver for pre-orders. Please be patient with us as we work to get everyone who would like one an engraved brick. Just email us if you would like added to the list. Engraved bricks are $20. As a note: we have had families purchase and deliver their engraved bricks to far away places including Alabama, New York, and California. 

Thanks for being a part of this important community project,

~ Team Pillsbury

pillsburyproject.org

PS Due to the number of requests, we are working to schedule a time near Memorial Day for additional viewing and photos of the “Roll Call” wall.  Stay tuned.

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Saturday Tours & “Roll Call” Memorial Wall Installation

Friends,

Jen Santarelli, local artist and granddaughter of longtime Pillsbury employee Walter Santarelli, has utilized our compiled list of nearly 1200 employee names to create a wonderful memorial to the PIllsbury workers. The memorial wall on the east side of the Bakery Mix Building will be accessible for viewing and photo opportunities during our tours. Jen will be present and available on Saturday during open tour hours (11am to 3pm). She will have our existing list for families to view and make additions as needed. We want as many employees represented as possible. Jen has named the memorial piece “Roll Call”.  Wow! What a powerful and inspiring addition to the overall Pillsbury Project.   

Free public tours are this Saturday, April 6th at Noon and 2pm. Tours begin in our south dock entrance (at the corner of 16th St. & Phillips Ave.). Tours last about one hour with several stops within and around several buildings. The tours are on a generally level concrete surface but sturdy shoes or boots are still recommended. Last Fall our tour guests ranged in age from 2 to 90 years old…everyone is welcome to attend! No reservations are necessary. There is ample parking in our south lot and along 15th St.

The guided tours have a focus on the Historic Pillsbury Era (1929-1991) at the site. Many former Pillsbury employees have been interviewed this past year. They have generously shared their knowledge of the site so that it could be shared with tour guests during the tours. 

Engraved “Pillsbury” bricks will be available ($20). Donations for tours are encouraged but not required.  And, micro-pantry food donations will be accepted. Our Pillsbury Neighborhood micro-pantry has been a great success. Download a recommended donation list…

Thanks for being a part of this important community project.

~ Team Pillsbury

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PILLSBURIED: Art, Artifacts, & Curiosities from the Pillsbury Site March 28 & 29

Friends,

Pillsburied promises to be an immersive experience like no other…Mark your calendar…Bring your friends.

Thursday (3/28) 6-9pm & Friday (3/29) 6-9pm.  413 E Adams St – Downtown Springfield 

“Pillsburied” is a new pop-up art exhibit and installation that serves as a sequel to the popular “Visitors”
event held at the abandoned Pillsbury factory last November. This time, over 2 tons of artifacts, art, and
curiosities have been installed in a long-unused space in downtown Springfield. The result is an
immersive experience that reflects the history, decay, and unique art-making activities found at the
Pillsbury site over the last year. Guests will be able to experience a new version of the energy and
mystery that has been created by several artists working at the factory, and will also have the
opportunity to purchase art made at, from, and about the Pillsbury site. Like the “Visitors” event,
“Pillsburied” represents a unique art project in the Springfield community.

The Pillsburied exhibit is sponsored in part by Moving Pillsbury Forward and Highlander Renewables
and was curated by Robert Mazrim.

The exhibit is located on an upper floor of 413 E. Adams Street in downtown Springfield. It will be free
and open to the public
 for two nighttime gatherings on March 28 and 29 from 6pm to 9pm. Admission
is free, but donations to support the artists are encouraged.

Thanks for being a part of this important community project.

Team Pillsbury

fossilaerosol.com/pillsburiedhome

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Project Funding News

Friends,

Moving Pillsbury Forward is excited to announce another $1,00,000 addition to our overall project funding.

Congresswoman Budzinski did a great job in securing our Community Project Funding request in the recently passed federal budget. The Pillsbury Project now has just over $7,000,000 in combined project funding commitments. 

THANK YOU Congresswoman Budzinski for bringing this important community project closer to completion!

https://budzinski.house.gov/posts/budzinski-announces-3-1-million-for-three-sangamon-county-projects

~ Team Pillsbury

PS Reminder: Spring historic tours are scheduled for Saturday April 6th (noon & 2:00) and Saturday April 13th (noon & 2:00).  Find details here…