Vail Field Rehabilitation-Phase 2

Applicant Name

Patrick Crowl/John Malcolm

Applicant Organization

NA--Individuals

Phone Number

802-356-4609

Mailing Address

P.O. Box 152

Woodstock

VT

05091

Organization Website

NA

Grant Request Summary

In 1900, Woodstock had its own integrated baseball team: The Woodstock “Invincibles” - 47 years before Jackie Robinson ever stepped foot onto a Major League field. The “Invincibles'' home was Vail Field. We are a group of parents looking to revitalize that very space back to its former glory for all to enjoy. In light of the recent improvements to the tennis and basketball courts, we would like to propose additional enhancements to the baseball field. Specifically: new fencing, landscape revitalization (new grass, infield dirt, etc.), historically appropriate dugouts, scoreboard and stands for spectators and perhaps temporary and removable fencing and foul poles during the active baseball season that would easily be removed for other sporting events. An additional outbuilding for storage/concessions we feel could be of value as well. A well manicured baseball field is inviting to all visitors and residents and demonstrates a town’s commitment to their kids' recreational choices.

Presently the field suffers from a dilapidated fence, no dugouts or spectator seating, and gravel dirt which is unsafe for young players. Our field needs a little love to be restored back to the inclusive, vibrant space it once was. We are seeking grant funds to kick-start the project and will seek private funding as well as funds from the Woodstock Rec Department to cover any additional costs. All proposed improvements would be done in full transparency and agreement with the Village/Town along with the Woodstock Recreation Department.

Project Budget

$25,000+

Desired Grant Amount

$25,000+

Other Funding Sources

Private sources. Partnership with Woodstock Rec Dept.

Project Timeframe

Early Winter 2022

How will this project benefit the economic and community development of Woodstock?

It’s no secret that Woodstock competes with other small Vermont communities for state of the art facilities like hockey rinks, tennis courts, and open spaces for events. It stands out as a great downtown village for shopping and eateries as well as overnight lodging. Woodstock is indeed judged by it’s schools, housing opportunities, it’s National Park and it’s overall beauty.

We feel the baseball field at Vail–within walking distance of a vibrant downtown– is a significant historical gem in our Village that needs updating. It is an infrastructure improvement that is along the lines of the rehab of Teagle’s Landing, Phil’s upgrade of the basketball and tennis courts at Vail and the investment Union Arena years ago. It ticks off several boxes in having the potential to positively affect Woostock’s economy from helping to market Woodstock in a competitive tourist environment--and even increasing the number of visitors to our town, to improving and managing important open spaces for our own community residents.

For instance, a beautiful baseball facility could potentially attract competitive leagues to host a game at Vail Field from the Upper Valley Nighthawks, Vermont Little League and/or State High School Championships. Doing so would bring an influx of visitors which leads to additional revenue to the village and businesses. Additionally, adult softball leagues and/or charity games could be played - raising money for local causes (e.g. Woodstock Food Shelf, WARF, etc.)

Which EDC Working Grouop Objectives does your project best support?

Marketing (Marketing Woodstock to attract more visitors and permanent residents), Downtown Physical Rejuvenation (Improving facilities and public spaces in the downtown area), Events (Supporting the growth of events for visitors and the community)

Other Objectives

Project Collaborations

Lastly, along with the partnership with the Rec Department, we are also entering talks with the hockey community to seek involvement and a more permanent home for the outside skating and hockey rink during the winter months. We would envision this being yet another phase to make the entire Vail Field Facility inclusive to as many outdoor activities as possible and as year round as possible.

It is important to note that our group of interested parents span the spectrum of community doers that include a variety of sports and interests. This is not a baseball only agenda.

Additional Comments

Please see the link here from the Woodstock Historical Center about Vail Field. It is worth the read. https://www.woodstockhistorycenter.org/the-acorn/2019/4/5/thewoodstockinvinsibles

If for some reason the link does not work, Google Woodstock History Center and Woodstock Invincibles.

Thank you for taking the time in considering this application. We have a good number of parents in our community, ready to dive in and contribute both time and money to this important project.