By Ivan Raconteur
LESTER PRAIRIE Warm summer days at the local baseball field may seem a long way off, but the Lester Prairie Park Board has been busy making plans to continue improvements at the city park along Second Avenue South.
Last fall, dugouts were added to Lions Field (the softball field).
The project included installation of two 8-foot by 30-foot concrete slabs; an 8-foot-high chain link fence, and tin roofs.
The total estimated cost of the project was $10,000.
The park board plans to complete additional field improvments later this year.
An additional $13,000 is expected to cover renovation of the baseball field
Planned baseball field infield renovations include:
• remove current sod infield (city maintenance department);
• furnish and install 3 inches of new Red Ball Diamond Lime, laser graded and compacted;
• refurbish the existing pitcher’s mound area;
• furnish and install Hilltopper Mounding Clay on the face of the pitcher’s mound;
• prepare and fine grade infield areas to receive sod;
• install new sod (labor by volunteers);
• install new home plate area and base pads with plugs;
• install irrigation to the infield area of the field.
The work is expected to take place in August.
Some of the labor will be completed by volunteers, and the park board may seek additional volunteers when the time comes.
Funding for these improvements includes $5,000 from the city, $10,000 from a Minnesota Twins grant, $2,500 from a private citizen, $5,000 from the Lester Prairie Lions Club, and $500 from the Lester Prairie varsity softball team.
The improvements were planned in response to requests received by the Lester Prairie Park board to improve the playing surface of the Municipal Baseball Field as well as provide dugouts for the Lions Softball Field. Both of these playing fields are used extensively from April through July.
In February 2017, the park board made a request to the city council to allow them to seek a $10,000 matching grant from the Minnesota Twins Community Fund with a pledge to use $5,000 from the park budget toward matching the grant.
In April 2017, the park board received notification that it had been awarded the Twins Community Grant.