The dirt trail on the steep hillside leading up to the Palisades Recreation Center’s Field of Dreams from the parking lot off Frontera Drive will soon be converted into a cement “Stairway to Dreams.”
The Palisades Community Center Committee (PCCC), with the support of Pacific Palisades Pony Baseball Association (PPBA) and American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO), raised $100,000 to construct a stairway from the lower parking lot between the tennis courts to the playing fields. Construction should begin in the next couple of months.
“It has been our dream to complete this project,” said Bob Benton, PCCC vice chair and PPBA commissioner.
Many people use the trail to reach the fields, and several have fallen. The hillside is especially slippery after it rains, said PCCC chair Mike Skinner.
PCCC, a nonprofit association dedicated to improving the park’s programs and facilities, raised more than $1 million to renovate the Field of Dreams in 2003, and raises about $50,000 annually to maintain the fields, Benton said.
“The staircase is one of the final touches on the overall project,” said Skinner, who also serves on the PPBA board.
About 75 donors gave money for the project, including AYSO and PPBA families and the Palisades Junior Women’s Club. Fundraising began on opening day of the baseball season in March.
“A lot of people saw the need, and they appreciate the park,” said Rick McGeagh, who serves on the PPBA board. Many organized leagues use the four diamonds and grass outfields to play baseball, soccer, softball, flag football and lacrosse.
The six-foot-wide staircase will have side railings and a landing in the middle. The landing was included so that the stairway would not be too steep, McGeagh said. Architect Rick Poulos designed the rendering of the staircase with the assistance of The Arpen Group, a civil engineering company in Granada Hills.
The Los Angeles Department of City Planning told the PCCC it would not approve the permits to construct the stairway until the Pacific Palisades Community Council gave its approval. The Council voted unanimously at last Thursday’s meeting to support the project.
PCCC is in the process of hiring a contractor and is still raising money to make additional improvements to the Field of Dreams, including putting awnings over the bleachers. Donations can be sent to PCCC, 11030 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 203, Los Angeles, CA 90025. Information: (310) 473-2078.
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