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posted: 10/12/2012 12:38 PM

Lisle Park District resident wins grant for ball field renovation

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Lisle Park District

Lisle Park District resident Jack O'Connell was at home watching the Chicago Cubs play this summer and saw a commercial for the Chevrolet's Diamonds and Dreams program.

He entered the contest online and nominated Lisle Park District as his home community for a ballfield renovation.

A few weeks later, O'Connell received news his submission resulted in the district receiving a refurbished youth ballfield, designed and renovated by Ripken Design and FIELDS Inc.

Lisle was one of 12 communities selected to receive a refurbished playing field as part of the program. In its third year, Diamonds and Dreams has awarded more than 25 youth field makeovers across the country.

A representative from the Diamonds and Dreams program reviewed multiple Lisle fields and selected Arbor View Park, a neighborhood park with an older ball field, as the best candidate. The park district celebrated the opening of the rejuvenated field Saturday, Oct. 13.

"The timing couldn't be more perfect. We were budgeting to renovate the Arbor View ball field in the 2013 capital budget," said Dan Garvy, director of parks and recreation. "Jack's gesture and success winning the Diamonds and Dreams program absolutely saved Lisle Park District and the taxpayers $20,000.

"We are budgeting to have the backstop replaced in 2013, hopefully before the spring season begins. We would like to have an all-new field, inside and outside the lines."

Renovations of the field makeover were administered through Ripken Design, a division of Ripken Baseball, owned and operated by National Baseball Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. and 12-year major league baseball veteran Bill Ripken.