MILTON, Ga. — Milton’s newest active park space could receive upgrades that can accommodate the city’s growing youth baseball program and serve as a better playing surface for local lacrosse teams.
The city’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Board recently met to discuss turfing the fields at the Cox Road sports complex and adding baseball/softball markings and fencing. Milton purchased the site, which includes two full-sized, grass multi-use fields and a half-sized turf field, in January.
Acting Parks and Recreation Director Tom McKlveen presented the council with a proposal to turf the full-sized fields and add baseball infield markings on each rectangular field. One field would run 175-feet from home plate to the center field wall with the other reaching 210-feet from the plate to wall. The “dirt” baseball infield would also be turf, similar to ball fields at Blessed Trinity High School and the LakePoint Sports Complex in Cartersville.
Under the proposal, backstops would be constructed with fences added around the rectangular fields. Temporary fencing would serve as the outfield wall during baseball games and practices.
Council members brought up the need for dugouts, which were not shown in the proposal.
McKlveen said the rectangular fields are “not being used to their full potential.” Adding baseball/softball upgrades would also relieve the crunch for field space at Bell Memorial Park, which includes Milton’s only city-owned baseball/softball fields. The city also leases fields from several area schools.
Turfing the fields would also benefit other sports programs, including lacrosse. During or after rain, turf provides a better playing surface and can be used during rain without damaging the field.
In March, the city’s two lacrosse providers, Eagle Stix and North Georgia Recreation, applauded the city’s purchase of the site, but they did request officials consider turfing the fields.
Tim Godby, who runs Eagle Stix, and North Georgia Recreation director Brandon Allen lobbied for the playing surface, saying it could help ease the high demand for the two, turfed rectangular fields at Bell Memorial Park.
McKlveen and the parks board will continue their talks on the Cox Road complex with a plan to eventually present a proposal to the City Council.
During that time, the board will also discuss potential names for the facility. No suggestions or proposals are currently on the table.