Jack Bulik Park in Fontana will soon have a deluxe new baseball field, thanks to donations by the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation and the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation.
The $600,000 "Dodgers Dreamfield," which will have universally accessible improvements in order to benefit special needs children, will be constructed in the southeast corner of the park, replacing an existing youth field.
Amenities will consist of new rubberized surfacing, dugouts with rooftops, backstops, players benches, bat racks, black vinyl coated chain link fencing and gates, bleachers, an electronic video-screen scoreboard and control system, and concrete paving.
In fact, the large oversize scoreboard and signage will give the feel of Dodger Stadium, according to a report issued at the Fontana City Council meeting on Feb. 26.
Community Services Manager Daniel Schneider said that the proposed groundbreaking for the project is April 2, with the grand opening scheduled for June.
"This is an outstanding program for this great city," said Mayor Acquanetta Warren during the meeting. "This brings us far above the level we have been offering, and it's just another great tool that we can use to enhance the quality of life for our great students and children."
Garth Nelson, the director of community services for the city, started researching the possibility of adding a special needs field in 2016. Later, the city began talks with the Dodgers Foundation, eventually resulting in a three-way funding agreement.
The Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation will pay $300,000 of the total cost, while the Dodgers Foundation will pay $150,000 and the City of Fontana will pay the remaining $150,000.
Community Services Manager Daniel Schneider said that the Dodgers recently fulfilled their goal of creating 50 Dreamfields in various Southern California communities over a 15-year period. Now the Dodgers have started a new initiative to build 28 more fields by 2028, with Fontana's being the first one.
Jack Bulik Park, located at 16581 Filbert Avenue in the core of the city, already has several baseball/softball fields in addition to a skate park, a multi-purpose rink, and a neighborhood center.
The Dodgers Foundation's goal is to support key cornerstone programs in sports and recreation, education and literacy, health and wellness. The Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation's mission is to build character and teach critical life lessons to underserved young people through baseball and softball themed programs.