Pam Dudding Contributing writer
Despite COVID-19 preventing much activity at the Field of Dreams, the Craig Recreation and Conservation Association (CCR&CA) continues to reach for its dreams by completing its final vision.
Recently, they were awarded a much-needed grant to help with the completion of the field.
Debbie Snead, a community citizen and one of the original founders of the Field of Dreams shared, “The Community Foundation Serving Western Virginia has awarded a grant to Craig County’s Field of Dreams from their Community Catalyst Funds in the amount of $8,100, which was approved to support the Field’s extensive water project.”
The CCR&CA recently completed several infrastructure projects for the Field including, electricity with assistance from Craig Botetourt Electric Cooperative, a well for watering the fields with labor donated by Billy Horn and a detailed water project to get fresh water into the field.
It was explained that the access line for water extends from the town’s Public Service Authority to the center of the complex, requiring a 2,500 foot, three-feet deep ditch with two-inch pipe and several Ts.
“Costing $16,238, the project was expensive, even with labor donated by the Oliver family, but it will be amazing to have water for the drinking fountains, the concession stand and restrooms, and it will significantly increase the value of the property,” Snead said. “CCR&CS has provided additional lines and access to water for the neighboring Baptist Church and two private residences in appreciation for the easements they provided.”
The water project was the basic infrastructure for creating the next steps in developing the complex.
CCR&CS knows that in addition to supplying future buildings, having fresh water for drinking and restrooms makes the facility more self-sufficient, allowing children to come for the day in a safe and healthy environment.
“And we know there’s nothing like a cool drink of water after playing sports on a hot day,” they added.
Accessible to all children in Craig, the facility is particularly helpful to low-income families who cannot afford to travel out of the County for games or other activities, which is important to local parents.
Additionally, the complex encourages children to select community-based sports as opposed to potential at-risk activities or behaviors. The complex is also available to families and organizations for activities and other events.
Snead added, “The purpose of the grant request was to seek assistance in helping to pay for half of the water project. As noted, the complex is large and the water line is deep and long. Specialized labor, equipment, pipe, and construction costs were high. Although the all-volunteer project has raised almost half of the funds, the project was started prior to the pandemic and since that time, CCR&CA has not been able to take in sports fees or hold fundraisers to pay for the remaining half of the project.”
The grant from the Community Foundation has allowed CCR&CA to complete the project and begin planning the next phase of construction.
Donations to the Field of Dreams project are tax-deductible and may be sent to CCR&CA, P.O. Box 371, New Castle.
“The children and families are most appreciative,” Snead said.