Upgrades nearly complete for Longview’s Lear Park

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Published: Jan. 19, 2022 at 2:46 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 19, 2022 at 9:51 PM CST

LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - It’s rounding third base and heading for home plate. The additions to Longview’s Lear Park are nearly complete. And it will allow for more baseball and softball, and a much longer use of the soccer fields.

Longview Parks and Recreation Director Scott Caron says the additions to Lear Park are part of Longview’s 2018 bond election. It took a little time, but this part of the bond is nearly complete.

“That includes two new baseball fields, two new softball fields, converting two of the existing soccer fields to artificial turf. And then adding lights to two of the other soccer fields,” Caron said.

Artificial turf has been added to two soccer fields. Caron says grass, at least on soccer fields, has to have a break.

“We provide some rest periods, typically in the summer and in the winter. The grass goes dormant so when you tear up that root system of dormant grass, then there’s nothing there and it’s not coming back in the spring,” Caron said.

But with artificial turf:

“We’ll be able to utilize it 365 days a year if we want to,” Caron said.

The ball fields have grass, but Caron says playing baseball or softball typically isn’t as hard on turf as soccer.

“Soccer, you’re running it but then the kicking, so you’re kicking up that root system and you’re tearing it out essentially is what you’re doing pretty often,” Caron said.

And with little maintenance the artificial turf opens the soccer fields up for:

“Ultimate frisbee, you know, lacrosse is becoming much more popular than it’s ever been,” Caron said.

And even rugby.

“To me it’s just a large rectangle. So what you’re limited to is just your imagination,” Caron said.

And, so of course, it’s nearly time to PLAY BALL!

Caron says the new fields at Lear Park should be complete in the next month or so. The soccer fields are already in use.

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