Sand Springs Volunteers Help Spruce Up Tornado-Damaged Park
SAND SPRINGS, Oklahoma - Six months ago, a deadly tornado touched down in Sand Springs. Now volunteers are still working to restore the city's damaged baseball fields.
The storm knocked over several trees and snapped fences. Volunteers and park employees spent much of the spring and summer cleaning up the ball fields in Sand Springs.
Forty teams in the youth baseball program had to play on softball fields or drive out of town.
Players like CJ Hoover knows he'll get a chance to step into the batter's box there again next baseball season.
"I'm real excited about it. I feel happy," Hoover said.
Jerry Adair Park is one of the areas of the city's park complex that had heavy storm damage. After corporate donations and support from the community, the fields are getting closer to completion.
“It's amazing,” park superintendent Joe Medlin said. “We're a small city with small departments. We could not complete these tasks without the volunteers.”
First Presbyterian Church Pastor Ken Lane and members of his church wanted to give back.
"That's what it's all about; that's what we're all here for,” Lane said. “We're all in it together and we want to do good things."
Volunteers raked up some sod around the diamonds and cleared up brush. Firefighters even helped take down a tree.
“They've taken four hours of work [and] they have done [it in] about two hours, and they've got it all done,” Lane said. “Now we're finding more for them to do."
Rodrick Barclow says his group from the Tulsa Boys' Home can learn a life lesson by helping with the tornado cleanup.
“That's what we're teaching them to grow up as men and to don't take anything for granted because life can flip on you in a minute," Barclow said.
The park hopes to hold one more volunteer cleanup day right before the Spring baseball season.