Prospect Meadows Kicks Off Fundraising Campaign for Baseball Complex

By Jill Kasparie, Reporter

LINN COUNTY, Iowa - A nonprofit with plans to build an Eastern Iowa baseball complex is kicking off the public phase of its $4.2 million fundraising campaign.

Prospect Meadows is behind the 17 field development project. The planned complex would go northeast of Marion near the intersection of Highway 13 and County Home Road.

The facility includes baseball fields, softball fields and a miracle field for people with disabilities.

Developers hope the complex will become a destination for tournaments, events and scouting opportunities. On Thursday, Feb. 6 the non-profit is holding a private meeting for donors and potential donors about the capital campaign. Organizers said they would also be making an announcement about the project.

A media advisory said soon development will start on the facility. Baseball lovers are interested to see the progress.

"30 minutes pitching and 30 minutes hitting," said 13-year-old Nathan Wilson.

Wilson of Troy Mills has big baseball dreams.

"I kind of want to pitch when I grow up, but that's pretty much why. And I want to hit, be good," Wilson said.

The 13-year-old is practicing at Perfect Game in Cedar Rapids. He and his mom are interested in seeing the Prospect Meadows Ball Fields.

"There's a lot of AAU baseball games and a lot of teams that need diamonds to play on," said Nathan's Mother Traci Wilson.

"I hate to keep using the same word 'exciting', but it is," said Prospect Meadows General Manager Jack Roeder.

Roeder has been working on the project since 2010. He's realizing the project is getting closer to becoming a reality. As for a timeline...

"That's going to be determined by fundraising, but I think that there's a chance, that obviously, we could be out there playing by 2016," Roeder said.

He said from plans to renderings, he's watched the progress. Soon a snowy field, out in the country will transform into a complex.

"When you look out the window it kind of reminds you of the scene from the movie the Field of Dreams where you sit and you wait and you wait, but it goes back to the old saying 'hope springs eternal,' and it certainly does in this part of the country and something we are certainly waiting for and looking forward to," Roeder said.

Project leaders said the group has already gathered millions of dollars in grants and loans. Now, organizers just need to raise the rest of the money needed to build the nearly $10 million project.
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