The name of the game is progress at Field of Dreams
NEW CASTLE – The name of the game at the CCRCA’s “Field of Dreams” is progress, progress, progress. And come spring the name of the game will be baseball/softball.
Field No. 4 has now been completed with 500 pounds of special athletic field grass seed mix and 500 pounds of fertilizer applied to the outfield.
In addition, 60 tons of sand blended with the top soil donated by Castle Sands has been added in the infield. All four of the fields have now been designed and a road has been built into the center of the ball fields where the concession stand and restrooms will be located according to Debbie Snead, a spokesman for the organization.
“The Craig County Recreation and Conservation Association has had a very successful year,” said Snead who works continuously and diligently trying to find grants and funding for the $3.6 million project. “This summer we had over 450 children playing seven different types of ball, coached by 75 volunteers on any flat surface they could find in Craig County,” Snead recalled.
Since the county does not have a department of recreation and parks, for almost 20 years volunteers from Craig County Youth & Community Services and its subsidiary, the Craig County Recreation and Conservation Association have worked on providing enriching community programs which have included community recreation. In 2010 alone the CCY&CS along with the CCR&CA provided youth sports programs for 447 youth which is 56 percent of school age children in Craig County.
Currently a combination of 24 volunteers and two paid workers continue to work on the property to get things ready for the winter season. The value of donated labor and other in-kind services has amounted to roughly $600,000 to date. The site has required extensive grading in order to flatten the complex and correct water drainage problems. However, most rough grading on the property including banks and along the road has been completed. In addition to the 900 pounds of grass seed that has been sown, a settling pond and ditch to the adjacent creek are almost complete and the entrance, side road and parking lot are almost finished.
The other three fields still need fine grading, top soil and sand mixture; 800 more pounds of grass seed is needed for erosion control, and hay is needed to cover the seed. Soil mixtures have been calculated by Virginia Tech Agronomy Specialists, and field lines and bases have been designed by recreational engineers. “These services have added expertise and a real finishing touch to the project,” Snead said.
At this point the project faces three critical needs that will add up to about $12,800. While the infields are a mixture of top soil and sand, the outfields need a special perennial mixture of fescue and red rye plus equal amounts of fertilizer and straw for cover. This would finish work on all four fields, according to Snead.
After the fields have been completed $16,000 will be needed to provide the backstop and control fence that goes up the sides to provide safety for players and fans. Another $15,000 would provide a picnic shelter for those who use the field.
“We have come a long way thanks to so many who have volunteered their time, equipment and resources,” Snead said. “In addition to the Foundation for Roanoke Valley, the Roanoke Women’s Foundation, the New Castle Town Council, Farmers and Merchant’s Bank, Craig County Fairgrounds Association and individual donations have helped us financially get through the summer months and to this point.” The CCR&CA is holding an appreciation dinner for all the volunteers in November.