by DEB KUNKLE
Oelwein Parks Superintendent Josh Johnson looked at the sky above Wings Park Thursday afternoon and said, “Finally.” He was referring to the more “spring-like” weather to help the Parks Department get some seasonal outside work completed.
Johnson and Parks employees Tim Ledesma and Pat Ledesma were installing a tile covering over the top of new fencing at Wings Park’s Diamond 3 softball field.
Right now the popular diamond looks a little different with more than half of the field fencing ripped out. The old fence line has been worked over and seeded. About 10 feet outside the original line are X marks sprayed in the grass. The marks indicate the new larger perimeter of the outfield.
Johnson said the Parks Department received a grant from the Northeast Iowa Charitable Foundation that is being used for the Diamond 3 improvement project. He said the old four-foot fencing was removed and is being replaced with a six-foot high fence.
“It will be safer for spectators and hopefully discourage kids from climbing on it and bending it,” Johnson said.
He said he is hoping for a couple more nice days in a row to get the rest of the posts set around the perimeter and then the fence will go up. The fence has a large gateway on the south side to allow for mowers to enter the field area and midway around the outfield there will be a pass-through overlap where players can access to retrieve homerun hits.
Johnson said he will have more workers helping in the coming days to get the project finished, as the warmer temperatures will have ballplayers itching to get to the diamonds for practice.
“I think the adult softball leagues will like the updates we have made to this diamond,” Johnson said.