Project to Build Ball Field for Athletes with Special Needs Gets - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Project to Build Ball Field for Athletes With Special Needs Gets Financial Boost

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(Photo: WBOC) (Photo: WBOC)

SALISBURY, Md. - Wicomico County was recently granted funds through the Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ Program Open Space for projects at the Henry S. Parker Athletic Complex and Schumaker Park.

The Henry S. Parker Athletic Complex, located on Naylor Mill Road in Salisbury, received a $495,000 grant. Approximately $300,000 will go toward the development of Project 7 ½, which is designed to provide individuals with physical or mental disabilities the opportunity to play the sport of baseball. This project includes the construction of sidewalks, dugouts, fencing, parking, bleachers and other amenities.

The new field would host the local Little League Challenger Division, which is a baseball program for children with physical and intellectual disabilities. 

"When we started research, looking at what's available not only in the county but also on the Lower Shore, there's not a whole lot," said Steve Miller, director of Wicomico County's Department of Recreation, Parks & Tourism. 

Officials expect the initial buildout of Field 7 ½ to be completed in spring 2020.

Plans for the project also include building an inclusive playground and sensory trail.

Miller said the entire project will cost about $900,000, with additional funding coming from the county and private investment.

Remaining funds will be used to continue rehabilitation efforts at fields one through four at the complex, including expanding the dugouts and replacing field dirt to improve playability and drainage. New bleachers will also be installed on field one. These repairs will be phased in over the next two years.

Schumaker Park, located on Scuth Schumaker Drive in Salisbury, received $67,950 through Program Open Space. These funds will be used for Phase II repairs to the parking lot, which has been damaged by erosion and tree roots. Car stops and curbing will also be restored in the lot. The overall project will increase handicapped access to and from the parking areas.

 

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