Field of Dreams Breaks Ground On Special Needs Sportspark

By  //  November 12, 2014

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Field of Dreams Destination For Disabled Children

Today Sheriff Wayne Ivey got to attend the Ground Breaking ceremony for the new Brevard County Field of Dreams park in West Melbourne. Brevard County Field of Dreams, Inc. is a county-wide, volunteer-driven organization that is committed to creating enjoyment, a heightened sense of worth and inclusion for those with special needs, through sports programs. (BCSO image)

Today Sheriff Wayne Ivey got to attend the Ground Breaking ceremony for the new Brevard County Field of Dreams park in West Melbourne. Brevard County Field of Dreams, Inc. is a county-wide, volunteer-driven organization that is committed to creating enjoyment, a heightened sense of worth and inclusion for those with special needs, through sports programs. (BCSO image)

Partial Recipient of the Jailbreak Brevard Adventure Race Over the Next 5 Years

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Today I got to attend the Ground Breaking ceremony for the new Brevard County Field of Dreams park in West Melbourne.

Brevard County Field of Dreams, Inc. is a county-wide, volunteer-driven organization that is committed to creating enjoyment, a heightened sense of worth and inclusion for those with special needs, through sports programs.

This morning we also announced that “Brevard County Field of Dreams” will be a partial recipient of the Jailbreak Brevard Adventure Race over the next 5 years.

I would like to thank Jim Tapp for never giving up on his vision and dream for this incredible program and for everyone who attended this morning’s incredible event.

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ABOVE MAP: The Brevard Field of Dreams special needs Sportspark is located at 3000 Minton Road.

Brevard Field of Dreams Destination For Disabled Children

BREVARD COUNTY • WEST MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – The ceremonial groundbreaking was held Tuesday for the Phase I redevelopment of West Melbourne Community Park featuring the first phase of the Brevard Field of Dreams special needs sportspark.

“Joining our Very Important People (our future users!) and supporters were Rep. Steve Crisafulli, Florida’s House Speaker, Brevard County Commissioner Robin Fisher, West Melbourne Mayor Hal Rose and the West Melbourne City Council, numerous other state and local officials,” said a Brevard Field of Dreams Facebook post.

Exhibits and information were available before and after the introductions and ceremony.

The public is invited to attend the ceremonial groundbreaking for the Phase I redevelopment of West Melbourne Community Park featuring the first phase of the Brevard Field of Dreams special needs sportspark.

The public is invited to attend the ceremonial groundbreaking for the Phase I redevelopment of West Melbourne Community Park featuring the first phase of the Brevard Field of Dreams special needs sportspark.

Brevard County Field of Dreams, Inc. is a county-wide, volunteer-driven organization that is committed to creating enjoyment, a heightened sense of worth and inclusion for those with special needs, through sports programs.

In partnership with Brevard County and the City of West Melbourne, Brevard Field of Dreams organizes and conducts team sports which allows any person the opportunity to play.

Those with specific physical or mental challenges are paired with volunteer buddies who offer assistance and encouragement in order to make the sports experience as enjoyable as possible to all participants.

After completion of Phase 1 in June 2015, the Field of Dreams Sports Park will be a destination spot for families with special needs members who live throughout Brevard County, and beyond.

ABOVE VIDEO: Brevard County Field of Dreams, Inc. is a county-wide, volunteer-driven organization that is committed to creating enjoyment, a heightened sense of worth and inclusion for those with special needs, through sports programs.

Phase 1 of the Field of Dreams Sports Park is funded in large part through a grant from the State of Florida, a partnership with the City of West Melbourne, and critical contributions from the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, Waste Management of Florida, the Eckerd Foundation, the park development team of W&J Construction, Atkins Engineering and Holeman Group Architects, and many more.

Finishing the Park will require the continued generosity of individuals, and corporate benefactors who understand the importance of serving this often under served segment of our community.

‘Fields of Dreams’ Scores $2 Million In State Funding

The group led by Brevard County Commissioner Robin Fisher has lobbied for more than two years to fund a 5-acre “Field of Dreams” sporting complex at West Melbourne Community Park, which is located outside of Fisher’s Commission District 1 in North Brevard County.

Tom Goodson

Tom Goodson

Steve Crisafulli

Steve Crisafulli

State Reps. Tom Goodson and Steve Crisafulli and Sen. Andy Gardiner were instrumental in getting the funding approved through the governor’s office, Fisher said Thursday.

The project also received widespread support from West Melbourne Mayor Hal Rose and City Manager Scott Morgan, the Economic Development Commission of the Space Coast, and the 14-member Field of Dreams Board of Directors and made up of parents of children with disabilities, parks and recreation officials, special needs service advocates, a lawyer, an accountant and other community leaders.

Robin Fisher

Robin Fisher

“I believe we achieve our best when we work collaboratively for the good of our entire community,” Fisher said.

“I knew in these tough economic times the city and county were going to have a difficult time funding this project by themselves. It makes me extremely satisfied to know that this park is being made possible by public/private partnerships and will help fill a gap for this special population.”

Brevard County has 108 parks to serve 550,000 residents. There are more than 87,000 adults and children with disabilities.

“As a county we’ve done a great job creating a world class parks system and, while they are ADA compliant, there isn’t one park in our system that is equipped to specifically address the needs of persons with disabilities,” Fisher said.

“The need to have a park of this type was brought to the board’s attention by Jim Tapp, who had been working on the concept for several years.”

Field of Dreams will cost an estimated $4.2 million, but much of the money is either in hand through corporate contributions or committed through private donors.

Field of Dreams is currently in the planning/permitting stages and, when built, will feature rubberized playing surfaces for baseball, soccer and basketball. (Image for SpaceCoastDaily.com)

Field of Dreams is currently in the planning/permitting stages and, when built, will feature rubberized playing surfaces for baseball, soccer and basketball. (Image for SpaceCoastDaily.com)

The City of West Melbourne has a $50 per year 50-year lease on the property through the county, which also contributed funding for engineering survey work.

Field of Dreams is currently in the planning/permitting stages and, when built, will feature rubberized playing surfaces for baseball, soccer and basketball.

Fisher said he is appreciative of Commissioners Bolin Lewis, Nelson, and Anderson for supporting the sale of the park to the City of West Melbourne.

“Facilities will be designed to accommodate wheelchairs and other mobility equipment used by these courageous athletes, most of whom have never had the opportunity to participate in organized sports before, and never been on a field before that was designed for them,” Fisher said.

A mission by community and business leaders to build a sports park that caters to the needs of children with disabilities has hit a home run, scoring more than $2 million in funds from the state.

A mission by community and business leaders to build a sports park that caters to the needs of children with disabilities hit a home run, scoring more than $2 million in funds from the state.

As part of his efforts to gain State funding support, Fisher said he highlighted the mission and the statewide economic impact this community park will have.

“Based on other models around the country we expect to become a welcoming destination for families throughout the state,” Fisher said.

“Field of Dreams is a natural complement to Promise in Brevard less than two miles down the road. Promise in Brevard is Betsy Farmer’s dream becoming a reality, an all-inclusive residential/vocational training community providing independent living and on-site vocational training and job opportunities for individuals with varying levels of ability.

For more information on Field of Dreams, visit BrevardFieldofDreams.org


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