HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – Huntersville Town Board voted not to remove the baseball field from Abernathy Park, despite the Parks and Recreation Commission proposing to do so.

In August, the town held a public input session for people to give their thoughts on upgrades for the park. 

Twenty people attended, and according to Park and Recreation Director Michael Jaycocks, everyone agreed their main goal was to move the playground and basketball court away from the road where they currently sit.

Jaycocks says they would have to remove the baseball field to achieve that goal.

“At that time, the idea was that this would be an open grass field with walking trails around it, and the basketball court and playground would go in the outfield,” he said.

In a presentation to the town board on Monday, Jaycocks said attendees of the public input session complained about traffic, dust, and light pollution from the baseball field. He said everyone was in favor of removing it.

But when it came time to approve the new plan, the town board voted to send it back to the Parks and Rec committee, not wanting to eliminate the baseball field due to the growing demand for ballfield space.

“Our youngest division of softball, we have had anywhere from four to six teams. But this past Spring, we had eight,” said LKN Little League President Rob Johnston, citing historical growth in youth softball.

LKN Little League serves up to 2,400 kids each year. 

Johnston says they use every field available to them, including Abernathy Park, nearly every weekday night.

“We do have to shut divisions down every year, and we can’t always take all the registrations just because we don’t have the fields,” said Johnston.

Now, the Parks and Rec Commission will go back to the drawing board to develop a way to revitalize the park and improve its safety while still keeping the ballfield.