To improve the Schuylkill River’s water quality, the Schuylkill Headwaters Association, Inc. (SHA), needed to mitigate the Mary D mine discharge, but the adjacent Mary D Ball Field was the only viable location to create wetlands required for the planned passive abandoned mine drainage treatment system. Determined to improve the area’s waterways but unwilling to eliminate Mary D’s only recreational facility, SHA needed to obtain an alternative site, funding, design, and construction services to relocate and restore this prized community asset.
With nearly $600,000 in grant monies and 10 acres of abandoned mine land donated for the relocation of the ball field, SHA turned to RETTEW, who worked with 18 stakeholders to identify and effectively manage a wide variety of expectations for the new sports facility. The new Mary D Fire Company Sports Complex includes a regulation Little League field, an all-purpose field, an ice-skating pond, a walking path, and parking. In the end SHA provided Mary D with a new sports venue that enhances the community’s recreational opportunities — solidifying their support for using the former ball field site to improve the area’s waterways.