The final touches on the new little league baseball park on Richmond Loop in Burns Lake are finally complete after a delay due to COVID-19. The project included new dugouts and a new set of bleachers in the stands, and was spearheaded by the Burns Lake Rotary Club, who donated $18,000 for the project.
According to project volunteer Lynn Synotte, the renovations were quite an extensive operation. “It took about one day for Marvin Crieghton, who volunteered, to pick up all the lumber and frames from the Vanderhoof Co-op, we needed a special trailer,” she said.
“It also took a day to disassemble the old bleachers because they were in such disrepair and so unsafe. We then prepared the site and put up the bleachers which took about three days. We spent about two days painting and upgrading the dugouts, and another two days to upgrade, drain the culvert and paint the outhouse. So all in all about nine days of on site work.”
Another part of the park renovation was a new name. Originally named after Bruce MacEwen, a decision was made to change the name of the the park in honour of the late Jim Minger, a local business owner and community volunteer who passed away in January 2016.
“The rotary club decided that Bruce MacEwen was honoured in many areas…the library, the dog park and at the hospital. It was felt that we had many long time members that deserved recognition as well and Minger’s name floated to the top,” said Synotte.
A new sign for the park with Minger’s name has been installed.
The project was originally scheduled to be completed by the end of June, but COVID-19 caused the order of the bleachers to be delayed by five months, pushing the completion date to mid-September.
Synotte also told Lakes District News that it took some preliminary work to obtain approval from B.C. Hydro, as they are the ones that donated the property. “They were so supportive, I was very impressed with their enthusiasm for the project and then to research bleachers that would fit modern day building permit regulations.”
Due to volunteers fearing the spike in lumber pricing, Chinook Community Forest was approached to assist the project financially. “They very graciously voted to grant us funding of $4,396. We came in under budget with their funding plus the rotary donation of $18,000,” said Synotte.
All in all, a total of 13 volunteers worked on the project. It was a combination of rotary club members, Burns Lake Little League members as well as interested community members. According to Synotte, little league organizers and rotary members intended to hold a grand opening ball tournament at the completion of the park, however due to COVID-19 regulations coming into place in September, they’re hopeful to do so sometime in the spring.
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