Urban Planning

Building an Urban Baseball Field : urbanplanning

This may not be the right place to ask about this, but I figured I’d shoot my shot: does anyone have any advice/thoughts/resources on how to design a youth baseball field requiring the least amount of maintenance possible?

For context: I live in Philadelphia and organize a neighborhood baseball/softball/quickball program. One of our fields has been offline for the last two years as a developer has completed a large construction project on the adjacent lot. That developer is now offering to redo the field and, along with the city of Philadelphia, is seeking input from our program, which had been the primary user of the space for 8+ years. Prior to the project, the field was your typical grass and dirt youth baseball diamond maintained by the city, meaning they mowed it regularly and added new dirt every 3-5 years. Our organization would have to host annual preseason cleanups to pull back the overgrown grass/weeds, level the dirt, rake the lot, etc. When we’re not using the space, it’s most commonly used by local dog owners as a dog park and families as space next to a playground in which their kids can play.

I’m planning to solicit feedback from our families and the surrounding community but am thinking about narrowing down my questions so that my organization’s suggestion for the developer and city will be reasonable and manageable in the long term. We won’t be able to turf the lot, so I’m wondering: what type of field (all-grass, all-dirt, a field with cutouts, a full diamond) would hit the sweet spot between ease of maintenance and safety?

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