Big Ideas: $100,000


The Field of Ability (FOA) presents a unique opportunity to bring our community together in a holistic way through participation in recreation and sport. The FOA project involves redeveloping an old baseball diamond to create a fully accessible, barrier-free sports facility. The big idea of the FOA is that it will represent a culture shift towards inclusion and a positive movement to promote equal opportunity for all people to participate in our community. The project encompasses all areas of the facility and the recreational and social experiences of sport participation. The construction process will be extensive and unlike other traditional baseball fields. The scope of the project will include:
• excavation, grading, water drainage, granular sub-base, and conduits
• a flat, firm, and stable rubberized surface on top for safety, mobility, and to promote independent play
• a fully fenced field for added safety
• enlarged dugouts with a roof for mobility and protection from the elements; will include accessible design features for the entrance ways and benches
• bleachers with accessible design features for community members to gather in social participation, viewing enjoyment, and team support
• an announcer booth to add spirit and create an exciting atmosphere
• an outdoor shed for equipment storage
• a fully paved parking lot and pathway to the diamond for barrier-free access to the facility

Quinte and Area Challenger Baseball initiated the FOA project. Challenger Baseball is an adaptive sports league that provides a unique opportunity for people with disabilities and their families to be active and participate in our community. The City of Belleville has dedicated a local baseball diamond at Parkdale Veterans Park to the project, and a committee has been formed and tasked with project development and fundraising efforts. The Committee includes relevant stakeholders, community organizations, and many other volunteers from our community. Together we have created a plan, collected quotes, and are now in the process of fundraising to make this dream a reality. This dream will cost an estimated $750,000, but the results will be priceless!

The FOA project will ultimately remove the physical barriers that currently exist with traditional baseball fields, and that prevent people with disabilities from fully participating safely and independently. More specifically the project results will:
• increase inclusive and integrated use of the facility
• provide equal opportunity for participation by all people regardless of abilities
• increase the adaptive programming options for physical exercise, social engagement, and overall well-being for people with disabilities
• foster a positive and inclusive social environment for participants and spectators
• encourage independent play and personal development physically, socially, and behaviourally for all participants
• increase the safety, ease of mobility, and enjoyment for participants
• significantly lower the risk of damage to assistive or mobility devices
• empower athletes to develop new skills and build confidence to reach their full potential
• extend the season the facility can be used
• bring together the community at large in a holistic way through sport and recreational participation. For example: volunteer buddies, coaches, local sponsorship, and community events

By providing a facility that fosters these positive outcomes, the project will be responding to the needs of the community and push a culture shift towards a fully inclusive community where all people have equal opportunity to participate. The FOA will be open for use by many different groups, leagues, and organizations. This includes both adaptive and traditional recreational programming and sports leagues. As a fully accessible facility, the FOA will be a major addition not only for Belleville, but also for surrounding areas and will be the only one of its kind between Toronto and Ottawa

Broker supported

The City of Belleville for the Field of Ability Committee

Location: Belleville