Journey House proposes $2.3 million renovation of Baran Park baseball fields



America’s favourite pastime is as well-liked as ever on the South Side, however unkempt and harmful baseball amenities at Baran Park, 2600 S. Chase Ave., have raised ire amongst mother and father and native officers.

A current city corridor assembly attracted a sea of younger individuals outfitted in similar baseball caps and a crowd of group members to react to a proposal introduced by Journey House and Milwaukee County Parks. The proposal’s main options are a $2.three million baseball area enhancement, funded by way of personal funding raised by Journey House, and precedence park use by Journey House Youth Athletics individuals, together with the Felix Mantilla Little League and Journey House Scholar Athletes.

The assembly, hosted by District four Supervisor Marina Dimitrijevic, happened on the Kosciuszko Community Center.

It’s “not about if [the enhancement]is going to happen,” stated Dimitrijevic, “it’s about how it’s going to happen.”

The venture aim, as described by Journey House Executive Director Michele Bria, is to take dilapidated city infrastructure and rework it into a wonderful neighborhood park.

“[Currently] our granddads and dads have to go out and clean up the fields so the kids can play [safely],” stated Bria. “We want to make sure that our young scholars have an opportunity to play … on world-class fields.”

Doshin Rivera, 11, echoed Bria’s observations on the state of the park, the place he and his twin brother have performed baseball because the age of 6. Rivera recalled events when the fence surrounding the sector was locked, leading to scrapes and bruises when he and his teammates climbed over it to attend scheduled practices and video games.

Twelve-year-old Lisette Contreras, who was four when she first picked up a bat, stated she hopes park enhancements might be a boon to a brand new crop of gamers.

“I want a new field so the future generations can play on better fields than I ever did,” she stated. “The pitching mound is a little hole, and it messes people up.”

Why, many attendees questioned, has Baran Park develop into so ugly and probably harmful?

Anne Rivera, mom of Doshin, directed her considerations to John Dargle Jr., director of Milwaukee County parks.

“Why are my kids climbing fences and getting scratched up?” she stated. “On the South Side, the parks get treated differently than the beer garden in Bay View.”

Coach Ronaldo Torres described an incident the place a scheduled recreation towards a Franklin group was cancelled as a result of the fence was locked. “[The opposing team] would have had to jump a fence,” he stated. “There were no lights, the grass was tall. It was embarrassing.”

Dargle pointed to issues with job cuts, however didn’t reply on to questions on particular security considerations.

“It should never feel like there are three or four parks systems, but if you go to the North Shore those parks look a lot different.” Dimitrijevic stated. “We need a dedicated funding source in Milwaukee that funds parks and transit.”

Everyone who addressed the gang finally supported the endeavor. Pablo Llanos, a pacesetter of Liga Latina de Beisbol en Milwaukee, stated his gamers additionally ought to have entry to the improved amenities.

“I congratulate and give props to all the people in charge of Journey House,” he stated, “I just want us to have our fair chance to play on that field too.”

Bria and Eugene Manzanet, chairman of the Journey House board of administrators, reassured Llanos that they’re dedicated to reasonably priced pricing. Facility reservations will now be processed by way of Journey House quite than the county parks division.

Manzanet, who has performed baseball at Baran Park for the previous 11 years, thanked the Mantilla household and all who attended the city corridor assembly for his or her help.

“Journey House is here to make sure that we partner with you in our community and advocate on [your]behalf to create betterment of the community and region,” Manzanet stated. “If we invest in our community and our kids, that investment will pay us dividends for a very long time.”


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