Little Bear Park Project
2015 Trust Fund Grant $280,000
I was blessed to be the St. Ignace Recreation Director and Little Bear East Arena and Community Center Facility Manager from 2009 to 2018. Through a wonderful working relationship between the City of St. Ignace and St. Ignace Area Schools, the St. Ignace Recreation Department was able to use the 2 school ball fields for baseball, softball, soccer and flag football. The school has (1) 200′ field used for youth baseball, youth softball and high school softball, the other field is a larger 300′ + field used primarily for high school baseball.
The St. Ignace Recreation Department hosts the following baseball and softball divisions.
8-10 T-Ball Teams- Typical Field dimension 150′-200′ Field
2 Girls Minors Softball Teams- Typical field dimension 150-200′ Field
2 Boys Minors Baseball Teams-Typical field dimension 150-200′ Field
2 Girls Majors Softball Teams- Typical field dimension 200′ field Girls Minor and Major Softball
2 Boys Majors Baseball Teams-Typical field dimension 200′ field Boys Minor and Major Baseball Field Dimensions
1-2 Girls Majors Softball Teams- Typical field dimensions 200′ field
0-1 Boys Junior League Baseball Teams- 300′ or more Junior League Field Dimensions
1-2 Girls Junior League Softball Teams- 200′ Fields Junior League Field Dimensions Girls Junior and Senior League Softball Field Dimensions
LaSalle High School Girls Softball- Typically 200′ field. Can be 200- 225′ Field MHSAA Girls Softball Rules
LaSalle High School Boys Baseball- Typically 300′ fields. Field Dimension Recommendations
# 1- Having only 2 fields in the community and one of them set up for 14 of the typical 15 teams in the recreation department, it was very challenging finding green space for baseball and softball coaches to practice and have games. Both fields were overbooked for games and there were no places for teams to practice. Since space was a factor, 200′ fields were practical. After meeting with community organizations, the school and local government boards, the plan was to build (2) 200′ fields since the 200′ fields were used by 90 % of the teams and having (2) 200′ fields were beneficial for youth tournaments.
#2- Immediately following the baseball/season roughly early to mid June, the school fields were converted to soccer fields because St. Ignace doesn’t have a designated soccer fields. Then in late July these fields were converted to flag football fields.
#3- The Little Bear East Arena and Community Center is a major trailhead for snowmobiling, ATV’s, Bicycling and hiking, yet there isn’t any on site designated parking, limited signage, bathrooms or a clear marked trailhead in the spring, summer and fall seasons.
#4-Hockey Tournaments in St. Ignace are extremely successful. Typically St. Ignace hosts 7-8 tournaments a year bringing in over 6000 people to St. Ignace for hockey generating over 1 million dollars into the local economy. St. Ignace would like to have youth baseball and softball tournaments during the summer but St. Ignace would need more fields.
To build 2 ball fields for community recreation and to host tournaments to attract visitors. The ball fields would include dugouts, bleachers and a pressbox. There will be a concession stand with bathrooms and storage.
Improve the trailhead site for recreation and to develop a trail around the pond with seating and viewing areas. Clean up the area around the pond, it has become a dump site for garbage over the years. We would include fitness stations to the trail. We would like to add a fishing dock to the pond and stock the pond with fish for youth fishing. We would like to create green areas around the ball fields for events and other recreation. We would like to develop a designated soccer field immediately to the north of the ball fields.
(2) 200′ ball fields– T-Ball, Boys Minor Baseball, Girls Minor Softball, Boys Major Baseball, Girls Major Softball, Girls Senior Softball, High School Softball, Girls and Boys Coaches Pitch.
Concession Stand with Bathrooms– Men’s Restroom, Women’s Restroom, Family Restroom, Concession Stand, Storage Room and Utility Room
Recreation Trail- Recreation Path from Marquette street to the park. Trail in the park connects bathroom and fields and a scenic path around the ponds. The park is a major trailhead for the North Country Trail, Snowmobile Club, ATV’s, Iron Belle Trail and general recreation.
Fishing Dock– A fishing dock will be installed at the pond.
DNR Trust Fund Grant- $280,000
Local Match Donations- $114,000
City In Kind Labor Donation- $20,000
In 2015, DDA Director Deb Evashevski wrote an outstanding application for the project Little Bear Park Project. Deb included letters of support from the city council, recreation board and the local organizations and clubs in St. Ignace. The DNR picked this project over hundreds of other applications in the state.
Deb Evashevski worked with Brian Olsen of R.S Scott and Associates Engineering and Recreation Director Scott Marshall to design the project with estimated expenses of $400,000.
The project ran into hurdles as most projects do at some point or another. Lack of interested contractors, staffing changes and increased estimated costs from year to year.
The project was scaled back a few times to reduce expenses and the project was bid out a few times.
In 2019 the DDA decided to take on the role of a general contractor to reduce expenses and to make it easier for local contractors to participate. The project was bid out into 6 portions. The buildings, fence, electrical, plumbing, sod and excavation trail work, keeping in mind the city in-kind labor for water/sewer line install and excavation. We received very respectable bids for 4 of the 6 parts. We didn’t receive bids for excavation, trail work or for the sod.
Items eliminated due to lack of funds
* Dugouts for east field
* Top soil in green areas
* Fishing dock scaled back
* Sod in outfields
* Concrete patio for concession
* extra tables and benches
MDOT Video RE Trail Easement
Donations welcome and appreciated
If you would like to help us make this dream a reality, please contact Scott Marshall at the Downtown Development Authority (906) 643-8252
2020 Project Plans- scaled back plans
(2) ball fields- 1 Press Box- No other dugouts, volunteers will build later.
1 Bleacher instead of 2
Concession stand with bathrooms (No Change)
Trail Pathway from Marquette Street to Trailhead Site (east side of parking lot)
Fishing Dock (size and features TBD by budget)
$10,000 budget for trail around the pond utilizing volunteer work
No Sod- using black dirt and grass seed
Scaling back on landscaping material for green areas
Reduce the number of benches, picnic tables and trash cans
2015 Trust Fund Grant TF15-0182 $280,000
Local Contributions $134,000
Visitors Bureau, Sault Tribe, Kiwanis, Events Committee, Mackinac County, Moran Township, St. Ignace Township, Chamber of Commerce, Lions Club, City of St. Ignace, Downtown Development Authority, Recreation Department, First National Bank, BC Pizza, U.P State Credit Union, North Country Trail, Central Savings Bank, Mackinac Grille, Noyes Family, Mark and Cathie Sposito, Carmeuse Lime and Stone
Project Leader: Downtown Development Authority (906) 643-8252
Project Engineer: Brian Olsen; R.S Scott Associates
Bid Deadline May 22, 2020
Bid Tabulation LBE Park Project
Project Scope Items
Ball Field (1 Field Minimum)
Fence (1 Field Minimum)
6′ Minimum Trail Pathway Connection (Bypass Around the Pond Isn’t Included as a scope item)
Fishing Dock or Fishing Deck (Either must meet grant requirements)
1 Bench, 1 Bike Rack, 1 Picnic Table, 1 Trash Can
Lighting LED Solar
Map of Fields
Map of Pond
June 4th 2020 LBE Park Project Committee agrees to revised scaled back plans
June 4, 2020 Business owner volunteers to raise money and build 3 remaining dugouts
June 15, 2020 City Council Approves Bids- DDA Director updates council on revised plans
June 19, 2020 DDA Updated
June 23- July 21 Met with contractors
July 23 Met with Public Works Superintendent RE: city in-kind and rough grade, final grade and trails
July 28 Carroll Construction signed contract
8-4-20 Rudyard Electric signed contract
8-4-20 Carroll Construction breaks ground
8-10-20 Robinson Fence signs contract
8-10-20 City stubs in water service to concession
8-11-20 Foundation prepped with rebar, sand and moisture barrier
8-12-20 Plumbers install plumbing in floor
8-12-20 Plumbing Inspection Approved
8-17-20 Excavation begins
8-17-20 Updated City Council on project
8-19-20 Water main tap
8-21-20 Excavation work, underground electric, and concrete floor dugout
8-24-20 Excavation work, underground electric for future scoreboards
8-25-20 Concession Framing
8-27-20 Concession Framing
8-31-20 Anonymous $15,000 donation to be used for visitor dugout west field
9-2-20 Engineer added more grade stakes
9-10-20 Park Committee Meeting discuss $15,000 donation to visitor dugout
9-14-20 DPW starts on Park Trail
9-14-20 Set Trusses on Concession
9-14-20 Sample infield mix arrives
9-15-20 DPW works on trail
9-16-20 DPW starts sanitary sewer
9-17-20 DPW sewer pipe install
9-17-20 Plumbing rough in
9-18-20 Shingle concession and home dugout
9-20-20 DPW sewer to grinder pit
9-20-20 Plumbing and electrical rough in
9-25-20 Soffit, Fascia, siding accessories
9-29-20 Metal Siding
9-30-20 Visitor dugout form foundation
10-1-20 Passed Mechanical Inspection
10-2-20 Passed Electrical Rough In
10-5-20 Metal Siding Pressbox
10-6-20 Visitor Dugout Foundation
10-7-20 Fence Started
10-16-20 Backstop East Field
10-20-20 Backstop West Field
10-21-20 Concession Window Installation
10-22-20 Metal siding on gable ends, DPW cleaning up around the fence poles
10-27-20 Metal siding visitor dugout East Field, DPW spread sand and infield gravel
11-4-20 Topsoil in the outfields, finishing siding visitor dugout
11-5-20 Trail culvert and dock landing
11-30-20 Fence company starts on chain link fence
12-1-20 DPW digs holes for message board
Concession/bathroom foundation 8-12-20
Dugout/Pressbox foundation 8-12-20
8-17-20 Plumbing Prior to Concrete Floor
8-17-20 First Day of Excavation on Fields
Water main tap for service
8-21-20 Concession/bathroom concrete floor
8-24-20 Concession stand interior wall blocks
Concession stand wall framing 8-25-20
Concession Building Framed
Concession Stand 9-3-20
Pond Trail 9-3-20
Pond Trail 9-3-20
Park Trail 9-15-20
North Country Trail Volunteers 10-6-20