By Mike McClure

Representatives from Wicomico County Recreation and Parks, the town of Delmar, Delmar Little League, and Delmar Elementary School joined Delmar residents last Wednesday at the school to discuss options for proposed renovations to the Mason Dixon Sports Complex in Delmar, Md. 

Wicomico County Director of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Steve Miller said the project is a collaboration between the county, which owns the land; the town; the little league; and the school. Representatives of the groups have been meeting for the last six weeks.

Shown is the proposed option with three tournament size baseball/softball fields, a softball field, pickle ball courts, walking paths, and a parking lot. Photo by Mike McClure

“It’s been a very positive, collaborative effort to this point,” Miller said.

The group set the following priorities for the project: public safety, making the park more attractive for residents, and creating revenue opportunities with tournaments and events.

The county recently purchased two lots in the center of the property to go along what it already owned (the current sports complex). There are still some residential properties in the area which are not part of the proposed project.

According to Davis, Bowen and Freidel architect Mike Wheedleton, safety was one of the concerns of the group. The project would include the creation of a new parking lot which would get cars off of nearby streets (Pennsylvania Ave., Foskey, and Second Street) during events. The lot would also help alleviate traffic when school lets out. The group is hopeful that the school can use the parking lot (which will have 210 parking spaces) since it operates under different hours than the little league.

Delmar (Md.) Mayor Ben Jorden called the traffic around the school dangerous. He also pointed out that the town is working to beautify the town from town hall to the fields, along Pennsylvania Avenue.

All of the proposed layouts include turning the fields around with the home plates pointed toward the middle of the property. New pickle ball courts are also included in the plans.

Wheedleton said that the group had four layout options for renovations, but had narrowed it down to two options. One option would have three tournament size baseball/softball fields and a softball field while the other would have two tournament fields, the softball field, a multi-purpose (soccer/field hockey/lacrosse) field, and would keep the current t-ball field.

A resident asked about the playground equipment at the complex, asking for an all inclusive playground for handicapped children, with a ramp, hand rails, and special swings. Miller said they would look at upgrading the equipment. There was also a question about the surface of the proposed walkways around the complex. Miller said they would probably have a hard service.

Lori Dewald said the current soccer field does get some use. She also suggested adding a dog park because there are currently none in the area. Miller said there is one in the works in north Salisbury.

“We’re thankful for whatever you do,” said Mark Naugle, who pointed out that only t-ball can be played on the current t-ball field. 

Delmar Little League President Roger Waters suggested that soccer or field hockey could be played on the outfield of a baseball/softball field when it is not being used for baseball or softball. The majority of the residents in attendance said they were in favor of the three tournament size baseball/softball field option provided that the other sports could use the outfields.

“Our intent is to do something here,” Miller said, adding that there has been no significant improvement at the park in years. He said there is an opportunity to make improvements following the purchase of the new property, but he has to find funding for the project.

Once funding is found, it will take a couple years to build the new facility. Most of the work will be done prior to little league season, with construction of the parking lot aimed at taking place when school is not in session.

The group may have an additional public input meeting, either at the school or during a Wicomico County Council meeting.