Langford to turn brown field into regulation-size baseball park
The city bought the land for $5M and plans to build three baseball diamonds
Three players from national champion Langford Lightning U17A team. (📸 Zoë Ducklow)
The city has been eyeing a piece of CRD-owned land for decades that it says will be perfect for a baseball field.
For 30 years, Mayor Stew Young says, Langford residents have been asking for a major league-sized baseball field that teenage teams can play on once they outgrow the smaller local fields, instead of having to leave the Westshore for practice and games. Langford’s fields now are too small for teenage players, who easily knock balls out of the park on the regular.
The 13-acre property at 2955 Sooke Lake Rd. has space to fit three baseball diamonds each with a 122-metre infield, which is large enough for the strongest hitters, plus a splash park and playground. At least that’s the proposal the city has put forward; the councillors present said they want public input on this and other parks at the Sept. 10 parks and recreation open house at Eagle Ridge Community Centre.
The CRD’s Regional Water Supply Commission had been using the land as a gravel source and for construction fill, but it has been unused for five years. Langford paid $5 million for the land, and estimates a $7.8-million budget to build out the park. The parks department has already applied for a $6-million federal grant towards construction. The CRD will use the funds from the sale to build a new watershed field office, according to commission chair and Langford Coun. Lillian Szpak.
Among the invited guests at Wednesday’s press conference were three players from the Langford Lightning U17A girls fastball team that just won national gold. The three players spoke to the impact baseball has had on their lives, and expressed excitement at the full-sized field on their home turf.
Langford council with the Triangle Baseball's youngest players. (📸 Zoë Ducklow)