Of Richland’s more than 2,400 acres of parks, about 500 acres feature ballfields and active play areas – not nearly enough to support the city’s growth, Doug Stone, Richland’s parks and recreation director, told the council.
“We have lots of park land,” he said. “But what are we missing? We’re missing sports fields.” Strong outlined at the council workshop nearly 40 acres of turfed ball fields and active play area that need to be developed in the next five to 10 years to keep up with city growth.
He said the timing of the phased projects would depend on community demand and funding, which would probably come from community partnerships and grants.
The projects that city staff recommended be completed in the next five to 10 years include:
- Completion of Babe Ruth Baseball Complex. This nearly $3.3 million project at the community park and sports complex in Horn Rapids in north Richland would include paving the two parking lots and access road, construction of restrooms and a concession stand, the installation of lights on all four baseball fields, lighting the parking lot, the construction of a challenger baseball field for physically challenged youth, concrete bleachers, block dugouts for two fields, shade structures and landscaping.
The four fields at the tentatively name Atomic Community Park — the name has yet to be approved by the council — will provide the only public baseball fields for youth 13 and older, city staff said.
- The first phase of developing the nearly 117-acre Atomic Community Park’s multisports complex. This complex will feature five multispurpose fields for sports such as lacrosse, soccer, football and Ultimate Frisbee on 23 acres of land.
The nearly $3.3 million project along Highway 240 also would include the constructoin of a restroom, an concession building, 2.5 acres of paved parking and one lighted multipurpose field constructed with field turf.
- Badger Mountain Park. The nearly $2.6 million proposed improvements to the south Richland park includes a 6,000 square foot water spray area, tennis courts, sand volleyball courts, a ballfield, playground equipment, a restroom building, an additional paved parking lot, open space for turf areas a five-acre dog park.
- Improvements to the west wide of Claybell Park. Improvements to the south Richland park includes adding two full-sized fields such as soccer and lacrosse, moving the existing tennis courts to more solid land and doubling the number of courts to four, renovating an existing field for softball and turning an old field into natural green space and habitat education area. This phase of improvements would cost $927,000.
- Columbia Playfield. The nearly $1.8 million in improvements to Columbia Playfield in central Richland include relcating a Little League field, converting a drainage ditch on the north end of the property to an underground pipe system, the construction of an additional parking area, constructing a new restroom and concession facility and developing a trail system through the entire park.
Source: Tri-City Herald