BLACK ROCK, AR (KAIT) - Black Rock residents are hoping to keep their local ball fields alive for the kids.
With those hopes and dreams though, it will take a lot of community-wide effort.
In 2013, the Black Rock School District consolidated with Walnut Ridge.
The school's ball fields were a couple of things left behind. For the longest time, locals were worried that they would just sit there and go to waste.
"Everybody was distraught about it," said Rebeccah Beasley, a Black Rock resident. "Everybody thought it was disappointing. Our initial thought was it was going to become a ghost town."
The two fields set untouched for 2 years until the city purchased them with the hope of utilizing the space for the children in the community.
"They were in really rough shape until we got them and we worked to get them back into where we could use them again," Kathy Robertson, chair of the sports committee said.
Grass grew over the bases, hardly identifiable. With the work of several volunteers in the community, the fields came to life.
To house softball and baseball leagues, Robertson said it cost money, funds the city does not have.
"We've put our heads together to figure out how we can financially do it, and there's just no way with our budget that we can do that," Robertson said.
With the help from the community, Gayle Brock, a local woman, is striving to get a spring league together. Robertson said though Brock has offered to pay the funds to house a spring league, it is expensive and they still could use some help.
"We run strictly on donations," Robertson said. "We are going to support Gayle in any way we can to do that. She's got high dreams and high hopes. We are just going to back her how we can."
This means volunteer coaches, monetary donations, and umpires are needed for the spring league that will offer tee-ball through adult teams.
Beasley played ball at the park before the two schools consolidated. To know at any given time they could go unused, that makes her fearful.
"It means a lot for the kids to have something to do, you know to broaden their interest," the mother of two said.
Beasley said the fields must go one, especially after she saw her son find purpose at the plate.
"Before this, my son had no interest whatsoever in sports," she said. "Now, we've got him out here and he's wanting to hit off the tee and wanting to play."
Many parents in the community said the ball fields are all the kids have to look forward to locally. They said they would work together to make sure they have a place to go.
If you are willing to donate time, money or get involved in league ball, contact Black Rock City Hall at 870-878-6792.
Copyright 2017 KAIT. All rights reserved.