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Letter to the Editor: We Need Better Ballfields in Bonney Lake

Here are just a few key points that I believe support the upcoming Metropolitan Park District (MPD) YES vote to ensure The City of Bonney Lake has adequate park space for all uses in the future.

As a past field scheduler for the Sumner Soccer Club Board of Directors, I have first hand knowledge of the difficulties in securing usable fields and scheduling practice and game times for all of the youth in the area.

With multiple sports playing at the same time each year competing for the use of the limited field space and a limited amount of daytime hours after school sports have concluded for the day, you end up scheduling several teams on the same field who have to squeeze in a small area to practice.

My knowledge also comes from having two sons playing sports and I have spent countless hours driving to the closest available practice location (Buckley, Enumclaw, Orting, Auburn) as no field space is available in Bonney Lake. I have bulleted below some top reasons that more ball fields are needed in the Bonney Lake area:

* Safety - school district fields are not being maintained due to budget cuts, mowing grass and leaving it in place instead of catching the grass is causing a compounding problem, the pot holes and drainage issues also add to the unsafe conditions, and then teams that are forced to practice after dusk with no lights.

* Availability - School sports and activities take precedent and then only remaining time is available for outside use. The only city ball fields are at Allan Yorke Park that are not dictated by school use, which then must be split amongst many teams and sports at any given time.

*Weather - the rain makes most fields a muddy, soggy mess that becomes unplayable much of the time. The Sumner School District restricts grass field use after Nov. 1 due to the damage that can be done to the fields if over used during the wettest part of the year, thus eliminating those fields from the usable options.

*Lighting - Starting in October, the number of hours the fields are able to be scheduled is reduced with the loss of sunlight. This causes more teams to squeeze in during a shorter window of time. Currently, there is only one field in Bonney Lake city limits with lights - Bonney Lake High School.

*Tournaments/Jamborees - The lack of fields makes it impossible to hold tournaments or jamborees where multiple teams are able to play at the same time. This is a huge revenue loss for our local businesses as these events occur elsewhere that can accommodate this type of play and the dollars are not being spent within our tax district.

These are just a few key points that I believe support the upcoming Metropolitan Park District (MPD) YES vote to ensure The City of Bonney Lake has adequate park space for all uses in the future.

Thank you,

Melissa Johnson

 

RELATED COVERAGE

Bonney Lake Council Sends Park District to the April Ballot

Vote No on Bonney Lake Park District

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Do you have an opinion you'd like to share? Tell us in the comments below, email your Letter to the Editor to bonneylake-sumner@patch.com, or start your own local blog!

Leo23 January 11, 2013 at 06:01 PM
I agree Bonney Lake is in the need of updated ballfields with lights to extend the hours of use. If citizens want to see improvements in their parks the MPD is a good start. I do wish the City had a dedicated Parks Department.
Patrick Reed January 11, 2013 at 06:13 PM
Parks sound great for many reasons. So, what service or facility will be cut in order for people to afford upgrading the parks system? Or is the cost of the park district expected to be paid on top of everyones already high household expenses.
Scott W. Anderson January 13, 2013 at 05:36 PM
If you'd like to learn more about the proposed Metropolitan Parks District I highly suggest you visit the following Facebook page. It has all the facts and links to all city pages, state gov. pages, etc. in order to become well informed. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bonney-Lake-Metropolitan-Park-District/232646786868082?ref=ts&fref=ts

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