Lakeshore Youth Baseball & Softball Association (“LYBSA”) originally occupied 20 acres of property which was purchased from the Ruthaltz’s family over 30 years ago. That property was later turned over to the township and absorbed into the current 80 acre park for improvement and maintenance needs. In addition, the land to the south of the fields, which includes the house and the hitting facility, was purchased and donated to the township by the Kohn/Bancroft family. With LYBSA on the Northern edge and soccer to the South and plans for Rocket football to move between them in the fall of 2011, few localities have such an asset.
Partnering with the township, businesses and the support of countless volunteers LYBSA has taken a leadership role in upgrading the facility. Our goal is to not only to create a field of dreams for those that participate in our program, but also to enhance the facility for everyone in the community to enjoy. Growth in sponsorships and tournament proceeds has not only allowed LYBSA to keep registration fees to a minimum, but also to invest in park improvement projects. We’ve accomplished a lot over the last few years, but perhaps none more important than to prove that LYBSA is worthy of your support.
As you will see below, we have the majority of the projects funded through extremely generous private donations, volunteer efforts, and potential budgeted support from the township for 2011. However, we still need approximately $25,000 more funding for the additional landscaping, and the playground rebuild. In the future we are also looking to add scoreboards to all fields.
Please click on the blue highlighted words below for renderings of the improvements.
OVER $570,000 in Park Improvement Projects planned for 2011
If you would like to help support LYBSA, please click on the Bat & Ball.
We also have opportunities available for sponsorship of many of the Landscaping beds shown in the pathway detail below. These range from $2,000 to $3,000 and will include a dedication sign posted in that particular landscaping area. Please contact Russ Weaver for details.
PAVED ROAD & PARKING: Master Plan (click words for image)
What started as a conversation about washing vehicles after every visit to LYBSA has morphed into full blown $360,000 paved road & parking project. Plans have been finalized and the township has awarded the bid. The paving will start as soon as possible in the spring of 2011. Generous donations from private contributors will fully fund the entire project that will include parking for nearly 400 vehicles. In addition to the current parking, lots will also be included to the east and west of the Hitting & Pitching Facility which will also serve parking for Rocket football.
PATHWAYS & SHADE: Pathway Detail (click words for image)
We asked Gene, the owner of Natures Way Landscaping to use the park as a canvas in order for us formulate a plan with three main objectives, shade, pathways, and just a nice place to visit and watch a game or take a walk. They exceeded our expectations and their generosity can be seen with the start of the project as 16 new trees were planted in the fall of 2010. The pathways will contain sitting locations and are bordered here and there with landscaping planters, and trees. Eventually the pathways will meander throughout the 80-acre park, linking all complexes together and making an absolutely beautiful walk for those in the community.
FIELD REHAB & RECONSTRUCTION
Field 4 was completely scraped and rebuilt as a skin infield. This will provide a safer playing surface as the grass infield had sunk to the point that bad hops were inevitable in front of infielders. Under the guidance of the South Bend Silver Hawks a professional brand of dirt mix was used which will enhance the playability and drainage of the field. FIELD 7 rehab is one main objective of the spring. Work was done in the fall in preparation for what will come to be the marquee baseball field in the area. Pony will become the next priority field at which point we should be able to fall into a routine general maintenance program.
Well we do and we don’t, we do but not enough to meet the demands of the park. In 2010 the townships attempt to install a well came up dry, so a 6” main line will be installed in the spring of 2011. This will enable us to continue with our plans to irrigation of all fields. Doug Ryor of Turf’s Up is another community member that has volunteered his time, expertise and labor. Fields 1 & 2 were completed in the spring of 2010 with spigots to 10 & 9. With the addition of the 6” line Field 7 is the priority for spring 2011 with a spigots to 3, 4 & 6.
The Pavilion will be located between fields 2 & 9 close to where the softball shed is located today. $28,000 in private donations have already been secured towards the estimated $30,000 project. The 30 x 30 structure will be open and another inviting place to get some shade or avoid a foul ball.
BLEACHERS & BLEACHER PADS
Many of the bleachers at LYBSA get moved each fall to the rocket football fields. The wear & tear of moving bleachers and just the overall age of them it’s time to acknowledge they have served there purpose and need to be replaced. Again, the generosity of private donations will allow the purchase of 9 new all aluminum bleachers that seat 70 people each. They are also enclosed with fencing on the back and sides to help prevent the unintended fall.
As part of the pathway and landscaping project, we have also requested funding from the township to rebuild our playground. This project will include, at a minimum, removing all current mulch and underlayment and replacing it with new drainage and underlayment to build it up to grade and correct the drainage issues, then covering with new mulch. The playground will be expanded slightly and encircled with the new pathway. We are looking into possibly adding additional play structures as well and may need funding for them. More to come on this.
Over the last few years all dugouts have been replaced other than those for the Pony field. We’re still seeking out funding to expedite their replacement and ideally can be incorporated into the fall 2011 goal of a complete rebuild of the Pony field.
HITTING & PITCHING FACILITY
Built over 4 years ago, the H&P Facility gives those members of LYBSA the unique opportunity to practice skills in the off season. This project was fully funded with private donations and untold hours of volunteer labor. In 2010 LYBSA installed a sidewalk and carpet was donated by the Kickers Club that covers 80% of the 60X100 building. Although the paving project couldn’t get started in the fall, the township did put down a crushed asphalt surface that helps keep dirt & mud from being tracked into the facility.
Key contributors to the building were: Lou Dominion, Thomison Architectural, CMP Construction, Schultz Roofing, Smitty’s Heating & Cooling, Kendall Electric, Mort Supply, Hollerbach Excavating, Gray Construction, Hannapel Home Center, Midwest Glass & Mirror, Newman Garage Doors, Great Lakes Stair & Case, Chelsie Corp, Consumers Concrete, Sherwin Williams, Lincoln Township, Indiana Michigan Power, Michigan Gas Utilities, supported by the tremendous efforts of volunteers.