S. Natomas Baseball Fields Get Facelift

THE NATOMAS BUZZ | @natomasbuzz

Natomas Youth Baseball players can look forward to catching fly balls, stealing bases and hitting home runs on brand-new baseball fields in 2014.

Work on seven outdated — and according to one baseball league official, potentially hazardous — baseball fields located behind Rio Tierra Junior High School in the Gardenland/Northgate area recently finished.

While the $1.3 million project’s new fields and accompanying improvements are now complete, players will have to wait until 2014 to dig in their cleats.

“A full season of growth will be required for new turf to be properly developed,” said Michael Braff, Twin Rivers Unified School District’s acting facilities director.

According to T-ball direct Dan Trescott said parents and league members worried players and students might trip, and get injured, from the fields’ numerous gopher holes prior to the renovation work.

“There was a concern,” Trescott said.

Talks of new fields were spearheaded by Sacramento Vice Mayor Angelique Ashby, who represented south Natomas at the time. Ashby and Natomas Youth Baseball officials looked at developing several different sites for new baseball fields, but decided it was more economical to improve those fields where the league had already been playing.

City Councilman Steve Cohn took the project’s reigns after redistricting and the Natomas area split between three city council representatives.

“I’ve seen the fields that the PONY League kids had been playing on at Rio Tierra and they were in terrible shape,” said Cohn. “After talking to community and PONY League leaders, I knew that this would be a very worthy city investment and make an excellent partnership between the city, the PONY League, and the Twin Rivers School District.”

South Natomas Capital Improvement Funds are paying for the renovations. In March 2012, the Sacramento City Council and the Twin Rivers Unified School District reached an agreement in which the city would provide funding and the school district would plan and oversee the project, including work by district maintenance staff.

The district contracted the bulk of the work with Yuba-city based Lamon Construction and other subcontractors. 

Below ground improvements to the baseball fields, and one soccer field, include new grading, drainage and irrigation systems. Above ground, workers planted new hydro seed turf, improved fencing, backstop and seating areas, Braff said.

Three dozen Chinese Pistache trees were planted to provide shade. 

“The city and school district did a really good job (on the repairs),” said Trescott.

Until the fields are ready, the league’s players will practice and host home games at Hazel Strauch Elementary School’s baseball fields located just across the street from the junior high school.

Natomas Youth Baseball is a 53-year-old recreational youth league which averages 500 participants each year. Player ages range from 4-16 and play on teams T-ball through Colt level.

The deadline to register or the Natomas Youth Baseball 2013 season is Feb. 2. Sign ups will be held 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the South Natomas Community, 2921 Truxel Road, Saturday, Jan. 26 and Saturday, Feb. 2.

For more information, call (916) 359-1070, e-mail [email protected] or visit the league’s website at http://www.natomasyouthbaseball.org/


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