Harrison to Fix Erosion Problem In Parks

From Harrison Daily Times

Harrison Parks director Chuck Eddington said a safety issue with five fields at the First National Bank Sports Complex is set to be fixed with the help of the City Advertising and Tourism Promotion Commission.

Eddington told Parks and Recreation Commissioners on Monday that there has been considerable wind and rain erosion where the dirt infields meet the grass outfields.

That created “lips” that made it almost like stepping up to get on the outfield. That has led to players falling when running or a ball hitting the lip and shooting up over the heads of the players, or even hitting a player trying to catch a ball.

They had been trying to find topsoil, but there wasn’t a good supply that didn’t contain a lot of rocks. Rocks would have created as much of a problems as the lips.

Eddington said they were able to find a supplier, and the CATPC stepped up immediately, buying 40 truckloads of topsoil and the conditioner used to create a smoother finish once applied.

The other options would have been to cut out turf and replace it, which would have been a major construction project.

The CATPC committed $18,500 to buy the topsoil and conditioner. That should be enough to fix problems on all eight fields with enough left over to be able to patch up spots if there’s another spring with heavy rains.

“I can’t thank them enough because I’ve been worried about that for the last two years,” Eddington said.

The CATPC is funded through additional sales taxes on hotel/motel rooms and prepared food. Tournaments hosted by Parks in Harrison creates additional revenue for the CATPC, so it has often been willing to help with needs of the department.

Eddington told commissioners he recently met with area school superintendents regarding a sports league that would see schools field teams for a league.

“It went really well,” Eddington said. He said there were a lot of questions, “which means there’s lots of interest.”

Those school leaders are supposed to let Eddington know in mid-January if they plan to participate in the program.

After that, he plans another meeting with superintendents or athletic directors in which they will talk about proposed rules.

The league is planned to be baseball for grades 3-9 and grades 3-12 in softball. The upper grades are already covered in baseball with the American Legion program.

He said the department tried the school league for grades 5 and 6 in basketball. They had three teams in the regular rec league, but it grew to almost 40 teams in two years with the addition of the school players.

If the program proves successful in baseball and softball, it can be continued in volleyball and soccer. It works as a partnership with schools in which they pay for the students to participate and the department supplies the facilities.

“I’m really excited about the potential,” Eddington said.

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