Bathrooms and baseball

If Gries’ cries of altruism are true, I would suggest he start his philanthropy at Skyway Park — or most any other park in the county that is managed and maintained by volunteers. The park’s fields don’t drain well, and dandelions choke the grass on most of the fields. The buildings and facilities around the baseball fields are decades old and in desperate need of repair.

By Chris Ingram

The Tampa Tribune

Published Tuesday, February 27, 2013

Unless you have kids who play league athletics in Hillsborough County, you probably are not aware of the fact that 55 of the county’s 59 athletic parks are managed and maintained by volunteer groups.

Such is the case at Skyway Park.

Skyway is adjacent to the residential neighborhood of Dana Shores and is just west of the airport. It serves the youths of the Town ‘N Country area.

A nonprofit league, managed by a board of directors who are all volunteers, manages everything from field maintenance to cleaning the bathrooms and running the concessions. For its part, the county cuts the grass once a week, pays the water bill to keep the fields moist, and will take care of things such as a major plumbing problem if one arises. 

The league uses most of the money it collects from player fees and concessions to pay for field maintenance and supplies, as well as paying for umpires for games. Coaches and parents are regularly asked to clean up the park and perform park maintenance before games. It is not necessarily a bad thing that the users are asked to contribute in this way; it instills a greater sense of pride and ownership — at least among the few who will help.

Therein lies part of the problem — plenty of users, but not enough helpers. (Click here to read the rest of the column in the Tampa Tribune.)

Chris Ingram is the president and founder of 411 Communications a corporate and political communications firm, and publisher of Irreverent View. Ingram is a frequent pundit on Fox News and CNN, and has written opinion columns for the Washington Times, UPI, and National Review online. He is the Republican political analyst for Bay News 9, the only 24 hour all news channel in Florida’s largest media market. The opinions expressed here are those of author and do not represent the views of Bay News 9. E-mail him

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