Sports Park takes the mound in F’ville

@TheSunGazette

farmersville – Farmersville officials will take the mound on Monday during a ground breaking ceremony for the City’s Sports Park renovation.

The City announced last week that the ceremony will take place from noon to 1 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 29 at the eastside of Veterans Park, located at 1334 N. Farmersville Blvd. The entire community is invited to celebrate the beginning of a project more than 15 years in the making.

“This 18-acre multi-purpose, master-planned park and urban green space will be transformational in improving the quality of life and recreational opportunities for Farmersville’s youth, residents and visitors, and we want you to join in our celebration,” the City said in a released statement.

The project includes renovation of the three baseball fields located at the current Veterans Park along Farmersville Boulevard, a full-sized soccer field and two sandlots just east of Veterans Park south of the canal. The design also includes a “rain garden” central to the City receiving a $541,679 Urban Greening grant from the California Natural Resources Agency. The feature will act as a ponding basin in wet years and when empty will create a park-like atmosphere as it will be surrounded by trees, a small meadow, picnic areas and a kiosk with educational materials. Running from the picnic area along the canal underneath the trees will be a 6- to 10-foot wide granite pathway. In November 2014, the City purchased a foot bridge to connect the granite pathways on the northern and southern sides of the canal. This southern portion of the sports park will also be funded by a $300,000 grant from the National Parks Service’s Land & Water Conservation Fund through California State Parks.

Seeding of the sports fields and irrigation for a soccer field and youth football field on the southern portion of the property will be funded by a $170,100 grant through the Housing Related Parks Program (HRPP). The HRPP was funded through Proposition 1C, the Housing and Emergency Shelter Trust Fund Act of 2006, as an inventive for cities and counties to provide affordable housing for low income residents.

Last summer, the City received an additional $290,000 from CalFire’s Urban Forestry fund to plant more trees, provide creek management along the Deep Creek Canal and pay for grading on the north section of the sports park property, behind Farmersville High School. In all, the City has received $1.3 million of the $3 million needed to complete the entire park project. At its Oct. 26 meeting, the Farmersville City Council awarded Phase 1 construction of the project to MAC General Engineering, Inc. in the amount of $540,200.

The sports park first became part of the City’s parks and recreation vision in 2001 when it purchased about 25 acres of land along Freedom Drive across from Farmersville High School. The land is split into northern and southern halves by the Consolidated People’s Ditch. The original plans for the park included six soccer fields, four little league baseball diamonds, two parking lots, an open play area and two lighted baseball fields and one lighted soccer field.

Attendees are encouraged to enter from the north at East Walnut and Freedom Drive, look for the green balloons and don’t forget to wear comfortable shoes. For more information, call Farmersville City Hall at 559-747-0458.

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