Friday, July 12, 2013

Baker's Field Clean-up Day: PLANS

I'm looking forward to our Baker's Field Clean-up Day, which is August 3rd. We'll meet at the Field at 8:00 am and work for at least a few hours. I've worked on some goals, bearing in mind that I think we should have realistic expectations for one day of work. My main goal, other than the physical changes we will complete that day, is to raise the expectations people have for the field itself. As of right now, expectations are fairly low. The field is used frequently by large groups of people but there are no garbage cans. A large stone, which was placed there to honor someone (named Baker, right?), is covered with spray paint. The baseball practice facility looks a little rough. This has to change.

It won't change overnight. I'm hoping our first clean-up day will be the first of many. With that in mind here are what I hope to be some realistic goals for August 3rd. 

The Stone 
The bare minimum: remove spray paint
Realistic goal for August 3rd: Plant a small mulched flower bed "in front" of the stone, between the stone and the corner of the sidewalk. Possibly paint the stone.
Eventually: Either replace the original plaque, or paint the stone and paint "Baker's Field" on the front. 

The Baseball Practice Facility

The Bare Minimum: Remove all of the large plants growing around the perimeter of the fence
Realistic Goal for August 3rd: With cooperation from the school district, work inside the facility as well. 
Eventually: Large signs on the fence reading, "Baker's Field: City of Erie School District, Adopted by Academy Neighborhood Association" and maybe "If you use this field please 1. Dispose of all garbage 2. Clean up after animals 3. Consider donating to the Academy Neighborhood Association". Maybe a giant "Central Falcons Baseball"? I'm sure many people who have gone to Central would find a sense of price in something like that.

The Sidewalks
The Bare Minimum: "Edge" as much as possible, use weedkiller (or if we decide not to use chemicals that is o.k. with me) to get rid of grass and weeds growing through sidewalk. 
Realistic Goal for August 3rd: See above ^. This might not seem like a big deal, but I think it plays into the whole "raising expectations" aspect of what we are trying to accomplish. If the field looks nicer hopefully people's expectations for the field will increase. 
Eventually: There are many areas where the sidewalk is uneven making it difficult for anyone using a wheel chair to navigate. The sidewalk doesn't need to be rebuilt but small concrete "ramps" or "inclines" will help to smooth transitions between different levels of sidewalk. 

The Intersections
All of the intersections should have crosswalks, especially in an area used frequently by children. This is an issue we can address with the City of Erie. 

Other Ideas
Some of these are "eventually" some of these are "sooner than later".
Garbage and recycling cans: sooner than later. Possibly donated by a local business?
A small shelter/pavilion with a picnic table: eventually. This would give people who are watching games or practices a place to sit and relax. Also - a good place for summer kids programs to take place. And a good place for a little free library.

This is just a starting point. Basically, not much is being done at this field as of right now so anything we do will be a positive step. These plans aren't written in stone. Anyone with suggestions or ideas please feel free to share them. And, just to be clear...

BAKER'S FIELD CLEAN-UP DAY: AUGUST 3rd, 2013, starting at 8 am
We will need all landscaping tools, garbage cans, cans and bags for "yard waste" such as clippings etc.
Stay for 5 minutes or 5 hours!
More updates in the next few weeks.

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