By JENNIE ZEITLER, Staff Writer
A new baseball field for Swanville looks more like a reality after the Swanville School Board approved an agreement with the Jennie-O Turkey Store to accept a donation of 15 acres.
The parcel of land is located between the current Swanville School softball field and Maple Ridge Turkey Farm.
Jennie-O has specified some use restrictions that must be in place before the land can be used. They include: having a six-foot-high evergreen tree line planted four feet from the boundary line; putting up a 10-foot-high galvanized chain link fence along the boundary, with an eight-inch concrete slab under the fence.
The field will be named “Jennie-O Turkey Store Field.” “We suggested that half-jokingly, but the people at Jennie-O liked the idea,” said Superintendent Gene Harthan.
Swanville currently has one softball field, which is also used as part of the school playground. There are holes in the backfield.
“There just is not enough room to field all the baseball and softball teams that need space,” Harthan said. “Softball practice and some games are held on the football field.”
“There are times when all three Upsala Swanville Area baseball teams need space, and with Upsala’s two fields and Swanville’s field being used, there is no room for the softball players,” said Harthan.
The project will likely be done in phases, depending on the cost to the school district. “Morrison County Commissioner Duane Johnson suggested there may be some planning funding available through the Initiative Foundation, so we will be checking into that,” he said.
If for any reason the school district does not follow through on the project, the land will revert to Jennie-O.
“We thank Joe Miller, who first approached Jennie-O and set up the initial meeting between me, board members and Jennie-O representatives,” said Harthan.