Stettler Sports Park progresses with work and strong support

Getting ready to play ball  -  Work crews with excavation equipment continue to lay the groundwork for developing Stettler Sports Park with four baseball diamonds and two soccer fields with the major facility scheduled to be complete for next summer sports season.

Getting ready to play ball - Work crews with excavation equipment continue to lay the groundwork for developing Stettler Sports Park with four baseball diamonds and two soccer fields with the major facility scheduled to be complete for next summer sports season.

Richard Froese

Independent reporter

Stettler Sports Park progresses as crews continue to construct ball diamonds and soccer pitches.

Planned to be ready for the 2010 season, Stettler Sports Park on 44 Avenue at 68 Street will feature four baseball diamonds and two soccer fields with a playground and plenty of parking for vehicles and a special area for parking recreational vehicles, all with easy access for wheelchairs and people challenged with mobility.

Three of the ball diamonds will be used for softball and slo-pitch.

“We’re striving to be ready to play ball on playable fields next season,” said Town of Stettler Councillor Dick Richards who chairs the project fundraising committee.

For playable fields, the committee has budgeted one million dollars, with a $496,570 grant from the Alberta Major Community Facilities Program supported by Alberta Lotteries and $250,000 each from the Town of Stettler and the fundraising committee.

“We’ve raised about $183,000 as a fundraising committee,” said Richards.

“We have a number of gifts in-kind that are not included in this figure.”

“The County of Stettler donated in-kind equipment and work estimated at $125,000 for which we are grateful,” said Richards.

Another fundraiser set for next year will recognize donors of $50 to $100 where donors can have their names inscribed on a special wall at the park.

This new facility will provide a top-quality sports park for local teams and to host larger tournaments.

“We find ourselves falling behind other communities when it comes to the quality of ball diamonds and soccer pitches Stettler has to offer,” said Richards.

Sports organizations and municipal officials realize that the many of the current fields are not on town property and may not be available within a few years

Those fields are located by Stettler Hospital and Care Centre that has long-term plans to use that land for expansion with other diamonds at the fairgrounds owned by Stettler and District Agricultural Society.

Other members of the fundraising committee include Town of Stettler parks and leisure services director Lee Penner, town manager Rob Stoutenberg, Councillor Leona Thorogood, Clint Greiner, Jeff Lee, Scott McKenzie, Brent Kranzler, Bob Poapst, Phil Holton, Norm Dennis, Glen Morbeck, Kent Hoopfer and Graham Scott.

For more information, phone Richards at 403-742-1686 (home) or 403-742-8321 (work) or Penner at 403-742-4411.