What's the plan for Greenville's historic Mayberry Field at Unity Park?

Greenville is currently requesting proposals from designers for the renovation of Mayberry Field at Unity Park.

The city is seeking experienced and qualified planning/design consultants or similar professionally qualified consultants such as engineers, architects and landscape architects as well as experts in sports field design and construction to provide administration services to renovate the field.

The project includes the design of the Little League regulation baseball field including grandstand bleachers, press box, batting cages, dugouts, bullpen and concessions stand.

Prior to construction of Unity Park, Mayberry Field got heavy use by the recreation leagues, said Bill Fox of the Hughes Agency.

He said it was in rotation and used on a regular basis, but it did not drain well due to the soil and the fact that it was somewhat sunken, so even a light rain would leave it too wet to use for days.

The original plans for Unity Park called for renovating and preserving the historic Mayberry Park, and Craig and Vicki Brown were among the first private donors to contribute to Unity Park, specifically for Mayberry, said Fox. However, due to several factors, Mayberry Field's renovation was not completed in time for the park opening, though a considerable amount of earth work and grading has already taken place, he added.

Related article: Pickleball project coming to Greenville's Unity Park

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The Hughes Agency is anticipating a groundbreaking before the end of the year to get the renovations rolling, said Fox.

"My understanding from the city parks and rec department is that they anticipate as much or more usage of the ballfield once complete," said Fox. "It will certainly not face the drainage issue is has in the past. The new ballfield will be constructed to Little League dimensions. These dimensions are ideal for the site, given the topography. Most significantly, this is a hugely historic piece of Unity Park and carries significant meaning to the surrounding neighborhoods."

Unity Park merges what was once two segregated parks: Mayberry Park for Black residents and Meadowbrook Park for white residents.

For decades many of the city's least desirable features were clustered together in a bleak, swampy area with a history of neglect, environmental abuse and racial inequity. On the land where Unity Park now stands, there was once a stockade, a dog pound, and a police shooting range...

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