A Miracle Field would be designed for children with disabilities who want to play baseball. The field would be the first of its kind in St. Paul. UPDC’s Parks and Recreation Committee will work with Lexington-Hamline Community Council, Dunning Boosters, St. Paul Parks and recreation and other Dunning users in a community engagement process. If there is community support, the field plans will go forward.
Work is already underway to consider alternative sites at Dunning for the field, and to track field and park use. If the field is built it would be the tenth Miracle Field in Minnesota, said Minnesota Miracle Field founder Kevin Thoresen. The field advocates chosen Dunning because of the importance of having children near an active baseball program.
St. Paul has about 5,000 children with disabilities. The city’s adaptive recreation programs have more than 300 participants. The field would be well-used by children with disabilities, Thoresen said.
UPDC Board members discussed other Dunning users, including soccer users, with Miracle Field and Parks and Recreation staff. One concern neighbors have is that by developing a Miracle Field, other users would be shut out. The neighborhood has a large immigrant population at the nearby Skyline Tower apartment building.
St. Paul Parks and Recreation Manager of Recreation Services Gwen Peterson said that while there are neighborhood concerns about soccer access for youth from Skyline Tower, many of the Skyline youngsters already play organized soccer and pickup games at nearby Jimmy Lee Recreation Center.
The prospect of a Miracle Field at Dunning Field in St. Paul is nearing first base. Union Park District Council (UPDC) voted July 11 to start a community engagement process to discuss the field proposal. Meetings will be held in the weeks ahead and fact-finding will continue. The field is in Lexington-Hamline neighborhood, which has a neighborhood association. It is in St. Paul citizen participation District 13, Union Park.
To find out about meetings, check www.unionparkdc.org or www.lexham.org