Parks Maintenance Spring Update: Ball Fields, Tennis/Pickleball Courts, BMX Skate Parks

Puddles pooling on a wet baseball diamond with footprints leaving deep impressions on the field.

Mother Nature threw one last curveball at us with a wintery blast to mark the beginning of April. With that behind us, it’s almost time for us to get out there and throw some curveballs, fastballs and sliders ourselves! Your Parks Maintenance staff are busy preparing our ball diamonds for that first pitch. There is, however, much to do before opening day. Over the coming weeks, stay tuned for updates as City staff prepare our various park amenities for residents’ use this spring and summer.

Winter cleanup

We can’t prep for spring and summer without cleaning up from our winter activities. In March, we started removing the boards, gates and safety netting from our outdoor rinks across the city. Safety precautions such as bales have also been removed from our sledding hills and staff are cleaning litter throughout our parks and along roadsides.

Ball fields

To get our 328 ball parks ready for the coming season in early May, staff are busy with inspections, necessary fencing repairs and reinstallation of any bleachers that were removed for the winter. We are also turning our irrigation systems back on and checking for leaks.

While staff groom the infields, they are also doing turf repairs, fertilizing, overseeding, topdressing and aerating the fields. (Overseeding and topdressing are our most effective methods of preventing weeds, and aerating the fields reduces compacted soils and promotes healthy turf grass for safe and fun season.) Grass cutting is also underway.

Tennis and pickleball courts

We hope to have our 115 tennis and pickleball courts ready for use soon, but staff caution that heavy precipitation can hamper operations. If nets are installed too early with wet/soft ground conditions, tightening the nets will cause the posts to lean, requiring a costly re-instatement/replacement, delaying the season further. With heavy rain in the forecast for today and tomorrow, staff will be reviewing conditions and are still aiming to have nets installed for April 19.

Enclosed courts will remain locked until nets are installed to prevent improper use.

BMX and skate parks

Staff are also working to get the Ciity's 15 BMX and skate parks open as soon as possible, and that means inspecting for any deficiencies and required repairs, sweeping the surfaces, and removing any debris that may have accumulated over the winter.

How residents can help

Every year, residents make a huge difference by signing up for Cleaning the Capital. It has been a record-breaking year for applications, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t looking for more!

Our baseball fields and other sports fields are officially closed, but we’ll get them open as soon as we can. Please stay off them for two good reasons. One is your safety; all fields are inspected for divots or trip hazards before they are opened, and closed fields have not been inspected! Second, playing on these fields in wet conditions can compact the soil, hinder water absorption, create aeration problems and force grass roots to work harder to break through the soil. The chance of root disease increases and the quality of the turf decreases.

Notice anything that needs our attention? Please send a service request by emailing or calling 3-1-1. This is triaged to the right personnel in Parks Maintenance and is the fastest way to help us get the job done.


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Address: 110 Laurier Ave W, Ottawa, ON K1P 1J1