Athletes to see improvements on three Richmond fields

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Athletes to see improvements on three Richmond fields
Martin Luther King Jr. Park (Photo from city documents)

The restroom at Martin Luther King Jr. Park will soon be renovated. Meanwhile, Wendell Park will soon see improvements to its grass multi-purpose field, irrigation system, back stop, seating and park lighting. A new single-stall restroom will also be installed there.

Over at Shields-Reid Park, either the natural grass will be renovated or artificial turf will be added, depending on what the public and City Council decide. There will also soon be striping for soccer and softball fields, a cool-down/clean up irrigation system, and installation of new perimeter fencing, back stop, seating, and field lighting.

The Richmond City Council green-lit bidding for the projects for each park on Tuesday. The projects will be funded with $7.7 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding approved by City Council. The improvements come in the wake of successful advocacy from the local soccer community.

Depending on funding availability, there could be additional improvements. For example at MLK Jr. Park, there is a proposal to repair the adjacent softball/baseball infield and renovate the grass for multi-use field sports. Or, to install perimeter fencing and conduits for field lighting.

Also depending on funding, Wendell Park could see resilient surfacing installed around the existing play structure. The community-built shade structure could also be relocated or replaced with seating and picnic tables.

At Shields-Reid Park, a Proposition 68-funded project is already underway to install an amphitheater, play areas, pump track, public art, and site lighting, and to resurface and light the basketball courts. Design work for the park’s renovation is ongoing, and the Council will still need to determine whether artificial turf will be used, according to city documents.