Sports

More ball fields thanks to county YARD grant

Arlington's soccer and Little League players will be helping the city of Arlington expand it's Bill Quake Park in a project funded in part with $36,700 from Snohomish County's newly established Youth Amenities and Recreation Development grant program.

The program is designated for nonprofits, school districts and local municipalities to complete parks projects, according to Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon, who announced May 30 a list of grant recipients under the county's latest effort to spur construction of new park amenities.

Arlington's proposal to expand facilities at Quake Field is one of 10 projects funded with approximately $450,000 in county seed money and matched by more than $500,000 in community funds and volunteer labor.

The city will contribute $27,000 in cash and has commitments from the Arlington Youth Soccer Association and Stilly Valley Little League to help rake and grade the top soil.

"They will do whatever they can to help," said the city's recreation manager, Sarah Hegge.

The grant will be used to expand the facilities at the Bill Quake Park by turning the dirt soccer field into a grass field, the grass soccer field will be turned into a 90-foot baseball field for practice, and the outfield will have two small soccer fields, Hegge said.

The grant also includes funds for some ADA improvements on the trail to the baseball fields from the parking lot, upgrades on the restrooms, and a small addition to the skate park.

"It will add some of the things that the skate park users group has been asking for," Hegge said.

Contractors will be hired for pouring concrete and laying sod.

A representative from the soccer association, Ryan Larsen has two boys who play soccer. He said that the soccer association is contributing $4,800 in cash as well as labor for two new U-10 fields and a full-sized soccer field.

"The U-10 is a little bit smaller, especially for 10-year- olds," Larsen said, adding the existing soccer field was converted from grass to dirt some five or more years ago, but nobody likes to play on dirt. He expects to get about 10-20 people to help at a work party in July.

"The ball field work will be done this summer and the skate park and restrooms will be completed early 2009," Hegge said.

The Community Enhancement Initiative was proposed by Reardon as part of the 2008 county budget and Reardon intends to continue the program in the 2009-2010 biennial budget. A total of 13 applications were received after the call for proposals in February and March by the county's Parks and Recreation Department and 10 met the grant requirements. Grants range from about $6,000 to the maximum of $75,000.

"We're putting county money to work building up this community," Reardon said.

"This small amount of seed money becomes a considerable investment without a tax increase to Snohomish County residents."

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