On Thursday, July 6, To kick off the reunion/rodeo weekend, an Elvis impersonator will perform on a stage at Bradley Park, with people watching from a deck area and a lawn.
There may be a ball game taking place at the baseball diamond next to the stage.
The stage isn’t there yet, the lawn isn’t there yet, the deck is under construction and the ball diamond was being dug up last week.
A lot of work will be done at Bradley Park between now and the Moosomin School Reunion July 6-9.
The site is being prepared for the Tim Hortons Outdoor Eventplex immediately west of the PotashCorp Sportsplex.
“The eventplex will be our feature park in town,” says rec director Mike Schwean.
“We’ll seed it to grass, the trees are going in Monday, that area is going to look really nice. It’ll be a fantastic place for events. Eventually I would like to add some playground equipment in there. When people come on July 6, I think they’ll be very impressed—it should work well for the show on July 6, and the town will do their rodeo barbecue there on July 7, and it should be a really good place for a barbecue or a picnic. We haven’t really had a park where you can sit down and have a picnic, so this should be well used.”
At the north end of the site will be a 14 by 30 foot permanent outdoor stage. There will be a large lawn south of the stage, ringed by trees.
The deck at the back of the Sportsplex is being extended and will overlook the park and the stage.
The area will be decorated by the “flower trees” built by the town crew—large tree shaped steel frames that hold flower pots.
Tim Hortons donated $7,000 from the 2016 Smile Cookie campaign to help develop the park, and have committed five years of Smile Cookie proceeds to the park.
Last week crews were working on improvements to the outdoor eventplex and to the baseball diamond at the northwest corner of the park, which will now be known as Borderland Co-op’s Murray Newman Field.
Shale will be installed on the baseball diamond.
Another big improvement at Bradley Park will be the addition of more parking.
The plan is to increase the amount of parking at the site by developing a new parking area south of the outdoor rink and east of the concession. The new parking area will be 200 feet by 400 feet.
“On the baseball diamond we’ve dug up the infield and we have put in the pea gravel and the shale will be here next week,” says Schwean.
Improvements to ball diamonds and the football field are continuing.
“The Kinsmen have done a really good job and are almost done their field,” said Schwean. “It’ll be ready to go in a week’s time.
“The Moosomin Generals are expanding their facilities so they are self-contained with showers and change rooms.
“The soccer guys will be working on their diamond in the spring to get it seeded and growing.
“Then we’ll pull out two backstops and move them into different locations, so we will end up with two baseball diamonds and five fastball diamonds or kids diamonds. There’s something going on at every facility out there.”
Many of the improvements at Bradley Park over the last few years have been taken on by different groups—the Moosomin Moose made improvements to Guinness Field, the Moosomin Elks have made improvements to their diamond, the Kinsmen have been working on improvements to the Kinsmen diamond, the Kinettes have put in a playground, the Moosomin Generals have built an impressive facility from scratch over the last five years, and the Moosomin Rodeo Committee is building new bleachers for the rodeo grounds this year.
“It’s great to get different groups taking responsibility for different facilities in the park,” says Schwean. “It’s great for the groups to take on a project, and once they’re invested, they take some pride in the facility and want to keep it up.
“Now we have different groups taking responsibility for different facilities within the park, and everyone is doing a great job of improving their facilities and keeping them up. The town’s fortunate to have so many different groups so invested in the park. I hear from other towns all the time asking how we do it.”
The park is used by large numbers of people each summer. There are 300-400 kids involved in soccer, 100-200 involved in football and a similar number in minor ball. Schwean estimates 750 kids are involved in minor sports on the playing fields at Bradley Park in the summer.
As well about 500 kids took swimming lessons at the Moosomin pool last summer.
While different community groups have developed the fields, the town built the PotashCorp Sportsplex at the park, which opened last year and has been very busy since it opened in the fall.
“We’re up $170,000 since we opened at the Sportsplex,” Schwean says.
There is no comparison between Bradley Park now and what it was 30 years ago.
“When I moved to town the baseball diamond was really nice and the Elks diamond was decent. What’s now Guinness Field had been let go, and the Kinsmen diamond wasn’t really there,” says Schwean. “The south end was slough and bullrushes from the track back. The rodeo ground wasn’t even there.
“There was the rink and a few diamonds and that was it. The bowling alley came in the mid-90s and the convention centre in the early 2000s. The park has really developed over the last few years, and it’s all thanks to the groups that have taken on projects within the park.”