Little League opens season in new Hazel Dell park

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photoCounty Commissioner Steve Stuart threw out the first pitch during the opening of Luke Jensen Sports Park in Hazel Dell.

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photoNoah Shepherd leads his teammates over home plate during the opening of Luke Jensen Sports Park in Hazel Dell. Luke Jensen was a student at nearby King’s Way Christian School who died of leukemia at age 9 in May 2010.

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photoNoah Aarhus, right, J.J. Schoenlein and Aaron Hoey are excited about playing in the new park.

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Sluggers of the Salmon Creek Little League played the first games in their new home Saturday as Luke Jensen Sports Park opened in Hazel Dell.

The 20-acre park at Northeast 78th Street and Northeast St. Johns Road officially will open in mid-June. But the Little League, one of two main tenants of the new park, got the action going on the opening day of its season.

The park is named for a student from nearby King’s Way Christian School who died of leukemia in May 2010.

When complete, the park will feature a large sports field set up for baseball and other sports, two additional baseball fields and two soccer fields. It also will have a concessions building and a playground.

Work on the concessions building is ongoing. A drainage system for the two additional baseball fields still has to be installed and landscaping isn’t finished yet.

The park will mainly be used by the Salmon Creek Little League and the Westside Soccer Club, according to information from the city’s parks and recreation website.

The Little League paid for scoreboards for two of the fields and lighting for one field, according to a statement from Clark County’s public works department.

The park cost $9.1 million, which was paid out of property taxes and real estate excise taxes.