Langford is set to get new baseball diamonds as well as tennis and pickleball courts with the purchase of a tract of land on Sooke Lake Road.
The deal is a partnership between the city, Capital Regional District and the CRD’s Regional Water Supply Commission, which sees 13 acres at 2955 Sooke Lake Rd. come under city ownership.
The $5-million purchase was funded through the city’s parks development cost charges, which are charged to developers as part of the permit approval process. Langford Mayor Stew Young thanked developers for investing in the community and parks committee chair Coun. Lanny Seaton and committee member Coun. Roger Wade for working on the project, which has been in the works for five years.
The baseball diamonds will be bigger than the existing fields on the West Shore, with a home run fence 400 feet away from home plate, which will allow competitive play up until post-secondary age, something that will be a big help for local teams, said Darren MacDonald, under-13 director with Triangle Baseball.
“This is going to give us a chance to keep some of our higher-end players here in the West Shore as opposed to heading elsewhere to further their baseball career.”
As well as the baseball diamonds, plans include pickleball and tennis courts, a splash pad and a playground.
Members from the Langford Lightning U17A Girls, which recently won the national softball championship in August, were also at the announcement.
“I was so excited when I heard about it because when I was a really young girl, I remember I’d go to the Langford fields that are already built and I’d watch all the older girls play. It really … inspired me to play and here I am now. I think these fields would give that to the younger girls and boys seeing us play,” said Kaela Gillis.
The site was previously used as a source of gravel and for construction fill. But it has not been used since 2017 for operational services by the CRD. Funds from the sale will be used by the Regional Water Supply Commission to help pay for a new watershed field office in the Goldstream area.
The city’s parks department will be holding an open house Saturday (Sept. 10), from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Eagle Ridge Arena at City Center Park where residents can give feedback on this and other projects.
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