Bird Island baseball enthusiasts decided they wanted to create something unique for the Minnesota State Class B and C Amateur Baseball Tournaments held in Bird Island and Willmar in August and early September.
"We wanted to create a plaza and something different than most ballparks," said Bird Island amateur baseball manager Mike Nagel.
Thanks to lots of donated labor and some materials, Lions Memorial Park on the west end of town creates a unique baseball experience.
Fans congregate on the new Lions Memorial Park Plaza in Bird Island.
A large plaza and concession stand is located above the new home team dugout.
A retaining wall includes 700 blocks.
Bird Island Manager Mike Nagel pictured in the top row at far right, phones in results after the game from the Lions Memorial Park Plaza. Below him the groundskeeper uses a leaf blower to clean the dugout.
The finished product began with excavation for rock footings, clay and mud.
"It was a lot of work. About a half dozen of us worked on it just about every night for four months," Nagel said.
"Many local and area civic organizations and businesses generously donated to the project. That includes the City of Bird Island and an Olivia-based Minnesota National Guard unit until they were deployed," he added.
There are 700 stone blocks holding a retaining wall beyond the new home team dugout.
The concrete plaza has benches, tables and chairs plus a concession stand above the dugout, giving fans a panoramic view of the field.
The Bird Island Lions Club donated an underground field sprinkler system.
The field was re-sodded.
A couple years ago, a new scoreboard, fencing and a covered grandstand were built.
Willmar also hosts the state amateur tournament this summer in its new ball park.
Taunton Stadium at Baker Field has a digital scoreboard, large covered grandstand and many box seats.