Marshall Council accepts more than $20,000 in parks donations

MARSHALL — Marshall area community members are supporting their local parks in a big way, Marshall City Council members learned this week.

The council officially accepted five donations totaling more than $20,000 in value from a group of local organizations and residents. The donations will be used for improvements at Independence Park and Legion Field Park.

Marshall Parks Superintendent Preston Stensrud said he wanted to thank the donors, including the Marshall Area Youth Baseball Association, Brett Bennett, the Marshall Shades of the Past Car Club, and the Marshall Community Foundation.

Most of the donations are going toward projects at Independence Park, Stensrud said. MAYBA, which has partnered with the city since the 1990s, wanted to make two donations to improve the two baseball diamonds in the park. A $9,500 donation would go to install drainage tile in both infields. A second donation of $5,000 would go toward planting evergreen trees near the lighted baseball field at the park.

Stensrud said the tree plantings would help the kids playing baseball on that field, by blocking some of the noise and distraction from nearby highway traffic.

A third donation was also related to the tree planting. Stensrud said Brett Bennett donated 26 evergreen trees to be used in the plantings near the baseball field. The trees were valued at around $400 each, Stensrud said.

A donation from the Shades of the Past Car Club will be used to help purchase playground equipment at Independence Park. Stensrud said Shades of the Past is donating $1,600 for two new spring rocker toys at the playground. The club had purchased similar playground equipment in the past, Stensrud said.

The final donation brought before the council would be put to use at the tennis courts at Legion Field, Stensrud said. The Marshall Community Foundation is donating $3,000 to help purchase a rebounder for the newly-renovated tennis courts. A rebounder is a piece of equipment that lets tennis players practice without a human opponent, Stensrud explained.

Without the donations, the cost of all those park improvements would be $33,500, city staff said. With the donations, the net cost to the city is $4,000, which will be funded partly from the parks maintenance and partly from the capital parks improvements accounts.

City council members voted to adopt resolutions accepting all five of the donations.