Reporting Amy Johnson
GRIFFITH PARK (CBS) — A proposal to build two little league fields at Griffith Park is causing a stir.
The plan to add the fields in the Crystal Springs picnic area would eat up about 2 acres of the nearly 4,300-acre park.
Andy Hnilo and Rob Salerno, who both play college baseball, support the idea.
“More fields to play at mean more kids get to play,” Hnilo told CBS2′s Amy Johnson. “It’s a creative outlet to let loose energy and coexist with other peers and you learn teamwork.”
“Griffith Park is the greatest park in the country — 4,500 acres. I’ve always wanted to see a sports field there for young people,” said Councilmember Tom LaBonge, who also supports the plan. “We need to have these sports fields there for the good of the community and it’s the ideal location.”
Adding the fields will cost $950,000. According to Johnson, half of the funds would come from Proposition K and the other half from the District’s discretionary fund.
But not everyone is on board. Opponents fear the fields will draw larger crowds, take away picnic tables and remove trees.
“You have destroy to be able to create, I’ve always said that so… and I personally think there should be more baseball fields in LA,” Salerno said.
A seven-member panel has been created to hear the public’s feedback and the plan is expected to go before a steering committee.
Ultimately, however, the City Council will decide. If approved, little league players could take to the fields in about three years.