North County Outlook - Community newspaper serving Marysville, Arlington, Tulalip, Smokey Point, Lakewood

Groundbreaking held at Quake Field

 

Christopher Andersson

Arlington officials break ground at a new baseball field near the Arlington Boys & Girls Club on Oct. 21. From left, Director of Snohomish County Parks and Recreation Tom Teigen, Arlington City Council member Jesica Stickles, Arlington City Council member Mike Hopson, Stilly Valley Little League President Greg Dunc, Arlington Mayor Barbara Tolbert, Snohomish County Council member Ken Klein and Lacey Harper from Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers' office.

Construction of two new baseball fields in Arlington has begun at Bill Quake Memorial Field as part of the Stilly Valley Youth Project.

The two fields next to the Arlington Boys & Girls Club will help provide a new place for local baseball leagues to play and will likely be completed by this upcoming spring.

Greg Dunc, president of Stilly Valley Little League, said he was "blown away" by what the project is adding to the region.

"It's a game changer for the boys and girls playing little league here. It's just an honor to be part of it," he said.

"I'm just so excited for the kids next spring, all 400 kids who are going to get to play on these fields," he said.

The construction of the baseball fields will use an organic infill that will be new to baseball fields in the region.

"This has been done on some football or soccer fields, but not in baseball yet, so consider yourselves pioneers," said Ben Johnson of Hellas Construction, the company putting in the ballfields.

The fields will be not get as hot as crumb rubber does under the sun, but still allows for play under most conditions.

"Kids can play on all-year round, rain or shine, so the parents can be happy about that," said Johnson.

"There will be lifetime memories made here, a lot of first-time home runs, and we're excited to see that and a lot more fun," said Lacey Harper, who works for the office of Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers.

The ballfields are part of the Stilly Valley Youth Project. The project has more than $5 million in funds from the state which were awarded after the 2014 Oso landslide and meant to revitalize recreation options for kids.

The two new baseball fields were one part of the project.

"When I learned about this project I actually worked for Gov. [Jay] Inslee, it was right after the slide and we visited the Boys & Girls Club here," said Harper. "We heard about the need to redo the ballfields and it's so exciting to see that dream come to fruition here."

Snohomish County Council Member and Arlington local Ken Klein was one of the major leaders in the project.

"When we first talked to Gov. Inslee we didn't really know what he would say or what to expect. I was a relatively new council member at the time," he said. "For him to be so receptive and to care about our community was just an amazing thing," said Klein.

Many people came together to make the project happen, he said, including state Representatives Kirk Pearson, Dan Kristiansen and Elizabeth Scott.

"It's a difficult process to get a project through Olympia, especially during these struggling times, but we did it," he said.

"To see the community partnerships that happened to make this all happen is amazing," Klein said.

 

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