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New Dysart Park infield being put to good use
July 5, 2018

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Summertime in Dysart Park means a lot of different things. Some children running around the playground, a jogger on their daily routine through the park, a couple of teenagers shooting hoops. But for Chris Behrens and many before him, baseball has always had place over the season, which is why he and other parents in the area stepped up to help coordinate an effort to restore the infield of the park's baseball diamond for the next generation to enjoy.

"The work addressed 4 major areas," Behrens said. "First was home plate where a new home plate was installed that lines up with the foul poles and surrounded by clay bricks. The clay bricks are buried in the batter boxes and where the catcher positions himself. The bricks keep high traffic areas such as this even and uniform. Second was the pitching mound. It was moved and built to the correct specs for middle school and little league pitching distances. Clay bricks were installed there as well since this is another area wear holes and uneven surfaces can cause safety issues. Third was new bases and anchors. The bases were slightly off in distance and relation to home plate and the foul poles. Anchors were installed for slow pitch, little league and middle school distances. Fourth was just leveling the whole playing surface out. Low areas had developed in several areas and these were leveled."

The renovation to the baseball diamond was estimated by Behrens to cost $8,000, an amount he simply couldn't raise alone. In April, Behrens approached the Dysart City Council to request funds for the project, which the council agreed to provide $3,000 for the park behind strong support. Union Community School District also provided funds for the project as their middle school students have used the field for their games over the years. Any remaining funds were paid for by the booster club, private donations and a Dysart Community Foundation grant.

"Dysart is such a great community full of good people. We knew that there would be support," Behrens said "It's great when people like Don Sparks, Dan Hatch, Carl Luze, Rodger Aldrich, and the city council-especially Reece Petersen-get behind the project and make things come together easy."

Paid Supplies was selected to work on the renovation, completing the job by Mid-May and only needing four days to have the field ready by little league and middle school season after 10-15 without any major work done to the field. Behrens was proud to hear contractors rave about the park itself and even more excited to know they now have a diamond that is up to par with the rest of the park.

"We kind of compare what was done to getting new tires on your vehicle," Behrens said. "Your car still looks the same from a distance but its a whole lot safer and smoother riding. The renovations to the diamond have made it a lot safer, easier to maintain, and a much better surface to play for many years to come."

But the work is not completely over. Behrens would still like to address a few more cosmetic issues such as getting rid of a ridge along the 3rd base line and some new foul poles to "dress it up a bit." Work on the outfield is a future project that would require more funding. While the diamond is free to use for all ages (outside of scheduled games), Behrens hopes people will keep the diamond in good order.

"The installation of the bricks will definitely help with this," Behrens said. "Hopefully the financial input and renewed interest will also encourage all that use the diamond to spend a little extra time in keeping it in shape."

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