HUDSON, OH (October 31, 2019) – Council has authorized safety-related repairs of the four baseball fields at Barlow Farm Park due to years of excessive wear and failing infrastructure. These issues are now creating unsafe conditions and poor playability. The initial safety improvements will be done this year, in preparation for the spring 2020 season.
After numerous concerns emerging regarding the safety and playability of the Barlow Farm Park baseball fields, the City spoke with several field consultants to determine a solution to correct the adverse conditions. The problems included:
- The initial field construction provided for runoff drainage through the infield dugout areas. Over the past 15 years, this has caused infield base line issues with safety and playability problems particularly during excessively wet seasons like we had this year.
- The original soil materials used to construct the infields has a very high silt content that allows the infields to “move” with rainfall and wind. Subsurface drainage that was originally placed is no longer functioning.
These issues need to be addressed to provide safe, functioning fields. While approximately $150,000 in repairs were planned for in the 2020 budget, it is important that the safety issues be addressed before next year’s ball season.
The first phase of the safety renovations this year include lowering the field elevation and regrading to achieve positive drainage around the dugout areas and away from the infields. This would include removal of existing materials under the fence lines and along all baselines. The outfield/infield interface would be stripped and re-seeded to receive the new grading. Lastly, the fields would be laser graded for positive drainage and safe playability.
As part of next year’s budget, work will be done to integrate the new infield mix material which alleviates the high silt concern and provides for proper water drainage and repelling capabilities. Infield sub-surface drainage system will be installed for increased infield drainage capacity. Infield baseline sod would be installed to aid with drainage direction flow and filtration. Finally, sub-surface fortification bricks would be installed at pitchers’ mounds and home plate area for improved wear tolerance and safety/playability.
The City received quotes for this year’s phase one of the project and recommended the current Vizmeg Landscape contract be amended to include the safety improvements work. The total cost for the safety improvements is $52,400. Both phases of this project are funded from the Parks Fund budget. Phase two improvements will be bid out next year, with work anticipated to begin in the fall after the season is over.