One upgrade at Memorial Park in Archbold is complete, and another is planned soon.
Jennifer Kidder, Archbold Parks & Recreation director, told members of the Archbold Park Board, Monday, March 11, that the new backstop is complete at the baseball diamond. The new backstop eliminates the old chain-link fence structure, replacing it with a low brick wall and a large net. The goal is to increase visibility for fans.
The cost was to be paid for by funds raised by a private group in the village. Park Board asked for the height of the backstop to be increased, and agreed to pay the cost for the addition.
Archbold has received an Ohio Department of Natural Resources NatureWorks grant to add two fabric shade structures at the park.
The structures, which could also protect fans from foul balls from the varsity baseball field, will be built over the bleachers at the varsity softball diamond.
The grant is for $12,518, but 25% must be paid by the park board.
Kidder told board members the grant is waiting on two things: final documentation from ODNR, plus approval from the state’s historical preservation office stating there are not historically significant buildings that would be impacted.
Kidder said as there were no buildings on the site prior to Memorial Park, there should not be a problem obtaining Ohio Historic Preservation Office approval.
The board discussed several sports-related issues.
Planning is still underway for a Parks & Recreationsponsored fall volleyball program. Kidder is working with Kylie Rufenacht, varsity volleyball coach, on the project, which could see players as young as first grade.
Tryouts have been underway for the spring baseball program; they have been difficult due to a lack of time available in the school gymnasiums.
A new summer baseball league, the Northwest Ohio Athletic League, has formed. It will feature 19 Pony League teams, plus 15 teams for Little League.
“It’s good competition for our kids,” Kidder said.
Also under development is a youth soccer tournament for children ages 8-10.
Kidder said a two-day soccer mini-camp is scheduled for March 26 and 28, for youngsters eight and over.
Soccer players and coaches from Bowling Green State University will be instructors.
When asked about staffing for the Archbold Swimming Pool, Kidder said the final roster of lifeguards and others has not been finalized, but that she has options.
“I’m confident it will all work out,” she said.
Kidder told the board there has been interest in the “Breakfast With The Easter Bunny” program, Saturday, March 23 at the Ruihley Park Pavilion. An Easter Egg hunt will follow at 11 am in the park.
Kidder said 80 reservations have been made; about 250 seats are available.
Kidder told board members she had not had time to look into a possible electronic message board for the Memorial Park sign.
Also, there were no new developments on the possibility of adding recycling containers in the parks.
Keith Radabaugh and Moses Rodriguez, board members, were absent.
The next board meeting is Wednesday, April 17, 7 pm, in the Archbold village council chambers.–David Pugh