Sioux Center’s baseball field at Open Space Park was chosen as the 2017 Iowa Baseball Field of the Year.
The award recognizes excellence in turf management and honors the turf manager and staff’s efforts in leading the sports turf industry into the future.
Sioux Center’s field was nominated by people in the community and in the baseball organization for its high quality and its impact on the community and the students who play on it.
Members of the Sioux Center Parks department accepted the honor Wednesday in Altoona.
“We were not expecting to get this award. We’re going up against Division I schools, professional fields,” said Sioux Center Parks Director Lee Van Meeteren.
Van Meeteren says the staff’s care for the field extends beyond appearance to the safety of the players, ensuring they play on a smooth and proper surface to prevent injury.
The baseball field at Open Space Park serves the high school and Dordt College teams, and is operated jointly by the City of Sioux Center, Sioux Center High School, and Dordt College.
Van Meeteren said this recognition is a testament to the collaborative approach Sioux Center takes.
“Working with the city, the college, and the high school is a rare opportunity, and it’s something our community does really well,” he said. “We are like-minded in providing a safe, quality field, and when we combine our resources, we can accomplish good things. We’re proud to be part of that process.”
The Baseball Field of the Year award recognizes the hard work of all of the parks staff, Van Meeteren added.
“If it wasn’t for everybody, we wouldn’t have the time to do it the right way. Everybody has an opportunity to put their footprint on that field,” he said.
Open Space Park’s baseball field, which is used about 200 times each year, was also selected as the Iowa Baseball Field of the Year in 2000. The award is given by the Iowa Chapter of the Sports Turf Managers Association.
Accepting the 2017 Iowa Baseball Field of the Year award on behalf of the Sioux Center Parks Department are: Parks Director Lee Van Meeteren, Colton Waring, Dave Egdorf and Daniel Van Beek.