Essay on why our community would benefit from this makeover



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Essay on why our community would benefit from this makeover:

Mountain Ballpark (formerly known as Green Mountain Ballpark) is located in Verona, KY (Boone County) on U.S. 42. Throughout the 1980’s and early 1990’s, Green Mountain Ballpark was used primarily for adult softball leagues. The park was abandoned for over a decade and left to be overcome by trees, weeds, and wildlife. In 2013 we formed Mountain Ballpark LLC, secured a 5-year lease with the property owner, and began the clean up. We restored the 3 of the 4 fields and re-opened the park in March 2014 with a focus on hosting youth baseball games.

We were motivated to undertake this ballpark renovation by the community’s need for youth baseball & softball fields. This need is thoroughly documented in the 2006 Boone County Parks and Recreation Master Plan Update (“The Plan”), which is posted on the Boone County Parks website at http://boonecountyky.org/parks/ExecutiveSummary.pdf. The Plan was truly based on the community needs and the public was involved in the process through various methods. The needs as communicated include outdoor facilities. The outdoor facilities, which have the highest response as most needed include baseball lighted fields. The map on page vii of The Plan shows Green Mountain as a “proposed park”.

Unfortunately, The Plan was never funded. With the Great Recession of 2008 on the minds of Boone County residents, they were asked to support a tax levy to help fund The Plan. The levy failed, and residents were left with the continued shortfall of baseball & softball fields for the youth of the community. This is where we came into the picture. As long-term youth baseball coaches, we personally felt the pain of the field shortage. We saw an opportunity to help the community and meet a thoroughly documented need.

In 2014 we held 143 youth baseball games. In 2015 the complex featuring four fields will host over 500 youth baseball & softball games. We have games scheduled with teams from northern Kentucky, central Kentucky, southern Ohio, and southern Indiana. We estimate that 15,000 adults and 21,000 children will attend games at our park this summer alone. The local leagues that will use the fields are Northern Kentucky Baseball League, Southwest Ohio Baseball League, and Crosstown Baseball League.

We have developed partnerships with national sanctioning organizations, including Amateur Softball Association (ASA), to sponsor tournaments at Mountain Ballpark. To date, we have 11 youth tournaments booked for the 2015 season with several more in the works. Over 40 teams have already registered for these tournaments and it is only January! The full tournament schedule and list of teams registered is posted at http://www.mountainballpark.com/tournaments.html

We aspire to become the very best ballpark in the northern Kentucky area. Every year we plan to add features to our ballpark that will improve the park experience exponentially, with a long-term goal of the park being a host site for Kentucky state tournaments. In order to do this, we need your help. All of the proceeds from the Reds Community Fund Field Renovation Grant will go directly into the improvement of the park. By sponsoring us, you can help us achieve our goals and play a major role in supporting a highly important and frequently used facility in our community!

Sincerely,



Rob Harber (513) 608-8704, rob@mountainballpark.com

Jason Sickmeier (859) 393-3569, jason@mountainballpark.com
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