A group trying to start a church in Hazleton spruced up the ballfield at West Court Playground this spring after tending to Altmiller Playground last year.
Though affiliated with the Restored Church of Wilkes-Barre, the group seeks to start a church in Hazleton.
“We want to show we do care about the city and want to invest in it,” Pastor Andy Tritt said.
At the West Court Playground, a park off South Poplar Street behind Thomas Kitchens at Dietrich Avenue and an unpaved section of F Court, the church volunteers replaced wooden slats in benches and collected trash from surrounding streets on June 3. After spraying weed killer on the baseball infield then, the group plans to return this week to spread a trademarked infield soil called Diamond-Tex.
Joseph Zeller, the recreation director for Hazleton, said a grant from the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources paid for the infield cover.
A local industry, Valmont Newmark from the Valmont Industrial Park, paid for a swing set, playground equipment and fencing at West Court last year, and the Hazleton Revitalization Fund of Mayor Jeff Cusat paid for picnic tables, Zeller said.
The efforts show how groups responded after Cusat, inspired by the World Series championship of Chicago Cubs and their manager Joe Maddon, asked the public for help re-landscaping fields in the city where Maddon grew up.
Last year, Restored Church replaced and painted slats in benches at Altmiller Playground, which is bounded by 12th and 14th streets and Garibaldi and North Manhattan…
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