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Aaron Saunders/Republic Bob Kalda of Parkston, drags dirt behind the plate at The Pond, Saturday in Parkston.

Beautification of The Pond in Parkston

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sports Mitchell,South Dakota 57301 http://www.mitchellrepublic.com/sites/default/files/styles/square_300/public/field/image/042814.S.DR_.THEPOND1.jpg?itok=4A186mv4
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Beautification of The Pond in Parkston
Mitchell South Dakota 120 South Lawler 57301

PARKSTON — The baseball field in Parkston, named The Pond, is undergoing a beautification process, which started last summer after the amateur baseball district tournament ended.

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The field is home to the Parkston Mudcats, the Rockbass, the Bullheads, the Parkston high school baseball team and the Legion team.

Due to the renovation, the undefeated Parkston high school baseball team has played all its home games in Dimock.

“We are close to finishing the field,” said Tim Alley, who is a committee member for The Pond Restoration Project. “Originally we were planning to have the field ready for the Fourth of July, but now we hope to have things ready to go by June.”

The renovation was pushed for as the front end of the grandstand had become deteriorated. The grandstand was moved from the original site by horses in 1938 when the facility was originally built.

The project was designed to make several upgrades to the field by raising money and seeking donations from the community. This summer, when The Pond opens up fans will notice, the old chicken wire and the eight poles that held it up are now gone. Replacing the chicken wire is netting, which has not yet been installed. The old green wood backstop has also been eliminated in favor of a block wall. The infield has also been re-sodded and new grass is being grown behind the plate. The grandstand walkway will also include cement, instead of dirt.

“The big hold up is going to be getting the grass to grow,” said Bill Ernster, who has been volunteering his time to help the restoration project. “People sitting in the grandstands are really going to love watching the games now. We used to have a lot of poles up, now there will only be two. Visibility for the fans is going to be great.”

The cost of the project was $30,000, which the group raised by doing fundraisers, like donkey baseball last year. Four teams participated in the event last July at The Pond. Alley said that the group figured donkey baseball would be a fun way to kick off the fundraising process for the community. Well it worked, according to restoration project committee member Mike Scott the group has raised close to $35,000 for the project over the last year. Scott said the project has also received contributions from the Lions Club, MDS Manufacturing and Weidenbach’s Construction and Ready-Mix Company.

“The city of Parkston has been very helpful in everything they have done,” Scott said. “This has been very much a community effort.”

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