Town and Country park gets makeover


For The Madera Tribune

Madera City workers complete work in front of Lions Town and Counry Park as part of a drought-tolerant makeover that was designed by the city’s Jamie Hickman and Javier Valdez.

 

The date was June 19, 1846. We were still nearly 20 years out from America’s Civil War, and New York was just getting started on its drive to establish itself as the country’s largest and most influential city. It would have been just another day if it hadn’t been for something truly remarkable. It was the day that the New York Knickerbockers (glad that name was changed) lost to the New York Nine in the world’s first-ever officially recognized day of what would soon become known as America’s pastime: baseball.


A lot has happened in the world of baseball since that fateful day in 1846. The rules have changed, the venues have grown (many stadiums now hold over 50,000 people), and the pros’ salaries have increased exponentially. Baseball has continued to grow in popularity and capture people’s hearts around the globe.


Baseball is America’s most popular sport, and it’s also the perfect introductory sport for people of all ages and genders. It teaches coordination, teamwork, competition, and requires time spent outside in the sun, which provides several health benefits in a day and age dominated by computers and mobile devices. The valuable life lessons centered around winning and losing and how consistent practice and effort yield vastly improved skillsets are fundamental to the design of baseball-oriented programs like T-ball, Little League, and softball. This may be why baseball-related programs draw the participation of millions of youth every year.


Madera is no exception, and for decades Maderans have enjoyed Little League baseball and softball at the at Lion’s Town and Country Park. Unfortunately, these fields are beginning to show their age. Despite the diligent work performed by City of Madera crews regularly, years of abuse from gophers, ground squirrels, invasive vegetation, and aging irrigation have taken a toll. It is clear that our fields have passed their prime, and Madera’s youth deserve better fields on which to hone their skills.


The City of Madera is pleased to announce that a field renovation project is in the works. Thanks to a substantial donation from a private citizen who sees the benefit of youth baseball fields, and the City Council, who voted unanimously to provide financial support for the project, the City will soon begin completely refurbishing Fields 1 and 2 at Lion’s Town and Country Park. Perhaps the best part, this project won’t take years to complete; it should be finished this summer.


The City also recognizes that the fields are not the only part of the park that requires a bit of attention, and our dedicated employees are actively working to revitalize other areas as well. One such area is one of the north side entrances of the park, which recently received a drought-tolerant makeover, designed by the City’s Streets & Storm Drain Manager, Jamie Hickman, and Street & Storm Drain Supervisor, Javier Valdez.


Together, City staff renovated the tired and old entryways into a new, fresh, and beautifully designed green zone, consuming 70 percent less water than traditional green zones of the same size.


These minor, yet significant upgrades are just the beginning. The City is progressing on an upgrade some of the bathrooms thanks to a recently awarded grant, upgraded paint on the buildings, structural replacement, and repair of some other items.


Though this may seem like a daunting list, it is worth the effort and the cost for our youth. While rebuilding some of our parks is not financially feasible, small improvements will go a long way and hopefully help restore civic pride in our community.