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Gravel baseball fields in Thornbury causing issues for players

Gravel surfaces causing injuries to players and damage to uniforms says athletic association
The gravel surface of one of the baseball fields in Thornbury.

Baseball players in The Blue Mountains have asked the town to upgrade the playing surfaces on local diamonds.

Cindy Lennox, past president of the Beaver Valley Athletic Association, was at council’s meeting on Sept. 18 to request for upgrades to the surfaces of three baseball fields at Moreau Park in Thornbury.

Lennox said that gravel surfaces at the diamonds are not appropriate and should be replaced with clay.

“We used to have the nicest ball fields in the area, we would like to have that again,” said Lennox.

In her presentation, Lennox said it has been many years since the baseball fields have had any major work done. She said the gravel surfaces are becoming unsafe for those playing on the fields. She said the gravel is causing injuries, damage to uniforms and causes the ball to bounce erratically.

“This is very unsafe for our kids playing baseball,” she said. “Having the proper surface will make the diamonds safe for everybody.”

Lennox provided council with a jar full of the gravel used on the baseball diamonds and a bag of clay surface that would be preferable. The association is also calling for the town to build the washrooms and pavilion that were approved a number of years ago.

Following the presentation, Ryan Gibbons, director of community services, said the town is planning upgrades at Moreau Park in conjunction with the Thornbury-Clarksburg Rotary Club. The concepts will be developed in the coming weeks and there will be a community consultation. CAO Shawn Everitt also suggested that council pass a resolution directing staff to include the association’s request in the 2024 budget deliberations.

Members of council indicated that they favoured fixing the issue sooner rather than later.

“I did play baseball in my teenage years, I can’t imagine sliding on gravel,” said Coun. Paula Hope.

Coun. Gail Ardiel called the gravel surfaces “a health and safety issue.”

Mayor Andrea Matrosovs said it is important to get moving on fixing the problem.

“There is an urgency in this particular ask, we don’t want to go through another season with the surface the way it is,” she said.

Council unanimously passed a resolution to have the project included in 2024 budget discussions.


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About the Author: Chris Fell, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

Chris Fell covers The Blue Mountains and Grey Highlands under the Local Journalism Initiative, which is funded by the Government of Canada
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