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Mar, 2023

OYA Makes Major Investment in Local Park

Ooltewah, TN (March 28, 2023) Ooltewah Youth Association (OYA) will invest over $100,000 to make a number of significant upgrades over the next several months, in an effort to keep pace with record demand for its youth recreational programs. The funds come from registration fees, tournaments, sponsors and donations.

“We believe parents of children playing at our park today should see the benefits of their registration fees before their children age out of our programs,” said Victor Steen, President, OYA. “This investment confirms our commitment to utilize the tools available to us to provide the best possible experience for children playing baseball, softball and other sports for physical activity and social development.”

$55,000 will be invested in improving the playing surfaces on five fields at East Hamilton Rec Park. The work includes laser grading fields to fix infield slopes, new field mix with conditioner being spread over the playing area to speed up recovery after rain, as well as new clay packed in heavily trafficked areas, like batters boxes, to prevent ruts.

Additional field work includes the removal of lips, or humps, that have developed between infields and outfields, adding sod to shorten the distance between infields and outfields and replacing all bases, home plates and pitching rubbers.

OYA will also spend $23,000 to add new batting cages at East Hamilton Rec Park and has partnered with Hamilton County’s parks department to develop an ADA compliant concrete walkway between the concessions stand and field 3. The current path is just gravel. Both projects are anticipated to get underway in early April.

These improvements come as OYA experiences another year of record growth for its programs. “We have 720 children playing baseball or softball at OYA this spring,” said Steen. “Our enrollment numbers have grown 47% in softball and nearly 10% in baseball since last spring. We literally have outgrown our park and are paying to use fields at another facility to accommodate all of our teams. It’s a good problem to have.”

OYA is a non-profit organization that manages East Hamilton Rec Park, a Hamilton County park. OYA also has a management contract with Hamilton County for Standifer Gap Park, where an investment of nearly $24,000 will be utilized to make improvements once the park fully recovers from being used as a staging area for tornado debris.

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Ooltewah Youth Association

9237 Shay Cove 
Ooltewah, Tennessee 37363

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