Efforts continue to Spruce Up Sportland, county council approves funding

Efforts to improve the largest park in Clinton recently got a big boost.

Posted: Sep. 5, 2018 9:54 PM
Updated: Sep. 5, 2018 10:26 PM

CLINTON, Ind. (WTHI) - Efforts to improve the largest park in Clinton recently got a big boost.

News 10 first told you back in May the Clinton Breakfast Optimist Club was trying to raise fifty thousand dollars for the first phase of a project to spruce up Sportland Park. Now the group is tackling phase two of the project and they need a lot more than they first thought.

Project leader Dustin Wilson explains phase one is complete.

"We've been able to create a new middle school soccer field with some of the funding. We've purchased professional goals and some 21-foot bleachers for down by that field. We also have additional spectator bleachers placed throughout the park. We've been able to install some bike racks, grills, benches and some landscaping beds throughout the park as well."

Now the focus is on the track circling many of the fields.

Daphne Wilson is twelve years old and play soccer at the park. She says the track needs work.

"I do think it should be redone. I think it's very dangerous with the amount of people that walk across it everyday and every game day, especially. I know there has been some injuries because of tripping. Some people run across the track which is dangerous. I think the curb is also dangerous because it is pretty much falling apart and it's definitely a hazard."

Dustin Wilson says, "We see the track as a critical adult fitness amenity in the community. There's always people out here walking, not just during soccer practices but at all times of day and every season. Every weekend for our games we have seven or eight hundred people that cross this track to go out and watch youth soccer so we really want it to be a safe and accessible area as a part of the park."

The plan is to remove the curb and completely redo the track but Wilson says quotes came in a lot higher than anticipated. Instead of sixty thousand dollars it will cost close to $135,000. Luckily for the group, the county council recently allocated fifty thousand dollars for track repairs. Optimist Club members say they hope to raise the remaining money and start demolition this winter.

When it is all said and done Wilson says the entire project will cost $250,000.

Phases three and four are aimed at improving parking and the restrooms.

The Optimist Club is selling T-shirts to raise money. The shirts are fifteen dollars and ten dollars from every sale go to park improvements.

If you would like to learn more about upcoming Spruce Up Sportland fundraisers, visit the group's Facebook page here.

Donations can be made here or they can be mailed to the Vermillion County Community Foundation to the attention of the Sportland Park Fund. That address is PO Box 532, Clinton, IN 47842.

Donations are fully tax deductible because the foundation is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization.

You can also email spruceupsportland@outlook.com for more information.

The Spruce Up Sportland project is done in collaboration with the Vermillion County Community Foundation and Clinton Parks Department. Optimist Club members also thank several businesses and organizations for help with the project: Elanco, White Construction, Tim Cottrell Construction, The Hunt-Spurr Trail fund, Royer Farms, Rediscover Clinton, Union Hospital of Clinton, and ACE sign and Awning.

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