Here it is, the middle of winter and I thought a quick update on the Sports Park is in order. Certainly, the baseball cleats, football helmets, and soccer balls have all been put up for the year. All the organized sports are in hibernation for the winter, however, there is still a lot happening at the park.
Every day someone is using the disc golf course, and not just for throwing frisbees! In the last 30 days, I have seen dog walkers, hikers, runners, mountain bikers, families with little red wagons, and geocache seekers on the course! The week of the snow storm, we had a cross-country skier, someone in snow shoes, and toboggans on the big hill adjacent to the disc course parking lot. Down at the parking lot, park visitors have been racing remote control cars and flying remote control airplanes. All these activities are great ways to get out of the house and into the great outdoors, even in the middle of winter.
The winter has not stopped the construction of several projects. The concession is getting windows for ventilation to keep all those great volunteers a little more comfortable this coming year. The new playground equipment arrived and has been installed next to the pavilion. The playground with the new swings and slides will be a great place for young kids to play in the future, rather than their current practice of digging in the dirt of vacant infields. Irrigation was completed on the new multipurpose field in late fall. With that irrigation and a little TLC, hopefully, there will be organized sports on that field this coming year. Volunteers have planted evergreens to help screen playing fields from neighbors. These same volunteers also planted dogwoods along the west multipurpose field and native wildflowers along existing trails. Some of our Sparta high school students have been out to clear Japanese Honey Suckle, an invasive species that is growing in the Park. The construction and improvement continue!
In closing, although there may be no organized activities at the Park now, there are many ways to enjoy the Park right now, all free and nearby. Hope to see you here. And the heavy equipment of construction projects may be gone for a bit, but there is much discussion/planning about future projects to address various Park needs. These needs include additional parking areas, storage for different youth leagues, completion of the fence on the west ballfield, batting cages, and hiking trails to name a few. Should be a great year in 2023 for the Park, looking forward to seeing how it grows to meet the needs of Sparta!