Little League Urban Initiative Unveils New Little League Field in Richmond, Va.
The Little League Urban Initiative and the City of Richmond (Va.) recently dedicated a new field for the North Richmond Little League.
A ceremony was held at Chandler Park in Richmond, culminating the $260,000 project completed by Landmark Construction Solutions. Funding for development of the field was provided by a $200,000 grant from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation on behalf of the Little League Urban Initiative, and $60,000 from the Robins Foundation.
“Little League is pleased to complete this project, and is proud of the impact it will have on the young children participating in North Richmond Little League,” Stephen D. Keener, President and Chief Executive Officer of Little League Baseball and Softball who attended the ceremony, said. “North Richmond Little League has done an outstanding job in providing quality Little League programs for the children in their neighborhood. The development of this field is an extension of North Richmond Little League’s commitment to providing a well-run and well-organized program.”
Among those on hand for the ceremony along with Mr. Keener were Demiko Ervin, Director of the Little League Urban Initiative, and Gaither and Rebecca Beard. Mrs. Beard is North Richmond Little League President, and Mr. Beard has been a long-time volunteer in the program. The Beards were recognized for their efforts with receipt of the Howard and Gail Paster Little League Urban Initiative Volunteer of the Year Award in 2006.
Chandler Park is owned and maintained by the City of Richmond. Landmark Construction Solutions developed a previously unused area of the park to build the Little League field that began with grading the area to level the field of play and create the proper drainage for the field. The field is fully enclosed with a 6-foot high chain-link fence. The distance from home plate to the outfield fence is 210 feet to all fields, and yellow top cap runs atop the outfield fence from foul pole to foul pole.
The dugouts are enclosed with fencing and each have a bench for players and a concrete floor. Roofs will be added in the coming months. The chain-link backstop has a concrete walkway behind and the playing surface is enriched with premium infield mix and a grass turf infield.
Musco Sports Lighting, a Little League International corporate sponsor, installed lights on the field, and funding from The Robins Foundation afforded the Little League Urban Initiative with the means to purchase and have a scoreboard placed at the field.
“The surrounding local Little Leagues were very supportive of the recipient league,” Jon Mosier, Landmark Construction Solutions President, said. “They provided the field equipment necessary for North Richmond Little League to take care of the field including a riding mower, hand tools and even fuel for the mower. On top of that, Virginia District 5 donated a $1,000 to North Richmond Little League.”
The Honda Foundation provided a grant for a storage container to safely house all the field equipment.
“North Richmond Little League has received tremendous support from the leagues throughout Virginia District 5,” Mr. Ervin said. “A concerted effort by each of the leagues in the district has improved the opportunities available to their players and volunteers throughout the district.”
The Little League Urban Initiative provides assistance packages for eligible leagues that aid the local volunteer group with equipment acquisition, capital improvement cash grants, field improvement and renovation, access to Little League Baseball and Softball education and training programs, advocacy, and networking.
A component of Little League Baseball and Softball, the Little League Urban Initiative began in 1999 with programs in Los Angeles and Harlem, N.Y., and expanded to other cities in 2000.
The Little League Urban Initiative is now operating with more than 200 leagues in nearly 85 cities in the United States.
Through the 2009 Little League season, the Little League Urban Initiative has stimulated the participation of 3,901 teams, which equates to approximately 51,000 players, and has participated in nearly 30 field renovation/development projects.
|Demiko Ervin (third from right in back row), Director of the Little League Urban Initiative, recently visited Chandler Park in Richmond, Va., for the dedication of a new playing field for North Richmond Little League. Utilizing grants from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation and The Robins Foundation, North Richmond Little League is benefiting from the construction of a new Little League field. Among those on hand for the field dedication were Little League President and Chief Executive Officer, Stephen D. Keener (on left in the back row), and North Richmond Little League President Rebecca Beard (on right in the back row).|
|Little Leaguers in the North Richmond Little League will benefit from a new field, complete with a backstop, outfield fence and dugouts. The field designed by Landmark Construction Solutions was built in a previously undeveloped area of Chandler Park in Richmond, Va.|