Skagit Valley Playfields getting artificial turf infields | Local News
MOUNT VERNON – Muddy, unplayable infields are a thing of the past on the Skagit Valley Playfields as artificial turf is being laid.
The outer fields of all four fields remain grass.
“What we saw as the limiting factor was when we had to close games because of bad weather or call games because the infields became wet and unplayable,” said Brian Adams, director of Skagit County Parks and Recreation.
He said the new infields will allow the department to extend seasons and reduce maintenance in the fields.
Maintenance included dragging the dirt infields before and after the games, lining the infields with chalk, and trying to remove the water after the rain.
“None of this will have to be done,” said Adams. “It’s really exciting.”
The work is paid for through a state youth sports field grant that Skagit County Parks and Recreation received several years ago. While the department had previously hoped to complete the project, the COVID-19 pandemic caused delays.
“We finally got everything in order and were able to start the project,” said Adams. “Fortunately, we had really, very good weather this spring, so it went really well.”
About half the price of $ 650,000 was covered by the state grant. The county raised $ 150,000 and the department received $ 150,000 from Skagit Valley College and other funding from the Softball Association of Skagit County.
“When you put all of this together, it will be of great value to Skagit County’s taxpayers,” said Adams.
A new fee schedule for the fields will follow shortly. Adams said it was similar to what can be seen in Whatcom and Snohomish counties.
Three of the four fields are completed by the end of the month. Building materials shortages will delay work on the fourth field, but Adams said he anticipates it will be completed by mid-July.
The turf was made by Sprinturf, the same company that Skagit Valley College used for its soccer field.
The softball fields can switch to up to six hill and base locations.
“There won’t be a league that can’t play in these fields,” said Adams.
And the fields have already sparked interest as leagues are looking for tournament locations.
“With four fields all clustered together like we have it, it’s perfect for tournaments and we’ll be able to accommodate many different leagues,” said Adams. “We’re already getting a lot of calls from tournament directors trying to establish their tournaments. We expect these fields to be used tremendously.”