HomePine Bluff newsPine Bluff looks to transform Junior Babe Ruth Field into multi-purpose sports...

Pine Bluff looks to transform Junior Babe Ruth Field into multi-purpose sports park

Pine Bluff, Arkansas – In an effort to bring vibrancy back to a long-forgotten park, Lanette Frazier, a Ward 3 Pine Bluff city councilor, is leading an initiative to rejuvenate the once abandoned Junior Babe Ruth Field in Pine Bluff. Responding to the call of her community, Frazier is steering a project that not only promises sports amenities but also aims to revamp the area into a multi-functional sports park.

A Vision of Community and Collaboration

Last month marked a significant step for the project when the city of Pine Bluff accepted a donation of the park from BRAVES, an association of Black firefighters from the Pine Bluff fire department. The plan, as outlined by Frazier, is expansive. The renovated park is set to feature a baseball field, a football pitch, a skating ramp, and a soccer field.

However, beyond the physical aspects, there’s a symbolic element to this effort. Frazier is pushing to rename the park to the “Ward 3 Community Park,” highlighting its inclusiveness. She emphasizes that this endeavor is a collective one, with the community at its heart. “It’s a lot of people coming together to make sure that this happens,” she noted.

Upon her election to the city council in January, Frazier disclosed that each ward was allocated $25,000 in discretionary funds after the approval of the city budget. She has chosen to direct her ward’s funds towards the park’s revitalization. Furthermore, the community’s response has been nothing short of heartwarming. “We’re gonna have 150 to 200 people here on Friday helping us to revitalize this park,” Frazier remarked.

The vision for the Ward 3 Community Park is clear: to recreate a hub where families can gather and partake in a variety of events. Frazier’s hope hinges on donations, which she believes will be instrumental in executing infrastructural improvements like building bleachers, roof replacement, and painting.

Community leaders, such as Creston Thomas, the pastor of Christ Redeeming Church, have been instrumental in advancing the park’s mission. Reminiscing about his childhood memories of the park, Thomas expressed his joy at seeing it revived. He also mentioned his daughter, an award-winning athlete, looking forward to utilizing the facility for her training in track & field events.

The financial specifics of the revitalization are still under discussion. While there isn’t a set budget currently, Frazier is optimistic about having the park operational by next year. She urges the community to make their contributions through the United Way, specifying “Ward 3 Community Park” or “Braves” in the memo. The city of Pine Bluff has also opened a restricted account for donations, ensuring complete transparency in funds allocation.

Nathan Kim

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