Echo Bay

Elks' Ballfield Rebuild to Start Soon

Elks' Ballfield Rebuild to Start Soon
The Echo Bay Elks' Ballfield Rebuild Project has been in the planning stage for the past couple of years, but at the end of August work will begin to make much needed improvements.

Elks' Ballfield Rebuild to Start Soon
The Elks' Sunday Slo-Pitch League, like the ballfields, was in desperate need of revitalization. Members and volunteers have worked very hard to give the grounds and the league a boost, which has been very well received. The league has increased from 4 to 12 teams over the last two seasons.

The grounds were given a clean up and some fresh paint, but it was obvious that much more was needed. So in 2016, Elks member Jean Robbins started working on grant applications , while other members worked on fundraising efforts, to leverage funds to make the total Ballfield Rebuild Project possible.

In June MPP Michael Mantha attended the Elks' monthly Fish Fry fundraiser and it was announced that they’d been granted $55,000 by the Ontario Trillium Fund towards the rebuild project. It is hoped that other funding applications will be successful as well, with almost $120,000 needed to complete the entire project.

The Sunday Slo-Pitch League wraps up its season on August 27th, and after that work will begin.  Besides the aging condition of the fences and fields, there are a couple of major issues that require a rebuild as opposed to refurbishing the grounds.

One big problem is the way the ballfields are situated on the Elks' property, which currently has outfielders staring into the sun during evening games. As part of the rebuild, the fields will be reoriented to eliminate this problem.

A second issue, which has been especially difficult this season, is flooding.  The ballfields need to be built up and have proper drainage installed. This season they’ve had to go out with a sump pump to drain off huge puddles that are forming after a heavy rainfall.

Old wooden fencing will be replaced with metal fencing. The new fencing will allow for easier visibility and have safety edging installed to help protect players.

The Ballfield Rebuild is just the start of what the Elks would like to see happening on their 22 acre waterfront property.  There is currently one walking trail which links up with the municipality’s boardwalk trail from the big loonie. They would like to see this expanded to go around the entire perimeter of the Elks' property. A children’s playground and self-storage unit rentals for income were also ideas brought forward for future consideration.