Culpeper Sports Complex
Address: 16358 Competition Drive,
Culpeper VA 22701
(intersection of Rt. 29 & Greens Corner Road in Culpeper VA)
The Bright Spot Playground
Culpeper Sports Complex is located just a few minutes away from downtown Culpeper at the junction of Route 29 and local Route 666 (Greens Corner Road) making it remarkably accessible to local residents, businesses and surrounding counties.
In November 2001, Culpeper County tax payers voted to have constructed a recreational facility that housed youth athletic fields and park amenities. In 2005 the Culpeper Sports Complex opened its doors to the public, offering citizens a 59-acre park that included 16 athletic fields. The fields constructed mainly for community youth are 3 football/lacrosse, 4 little league baseball, 2 girls softball, a youth baseball field and 6 large soccer fields (that accommodate various size configurations according to need). Parks and recreation staff continue to identify and prepare available strips of land for practice fields within the complex facility.
Over the years the Culpeper Recreation Foundation, Inc. a 501 (C) (3) tax exempt organization, has been instrumental in providing funds for the betterment of the county park system. With the foundation’s support many improvements have been made to the ball fields along with the construction of two concession stands that include bathrooms and storage. The foundation also allocated funds for the purchase of fencing around ball fields, field irrigation, safety netting to the sides of backstops, bleachers, shade trees, and partially funded an inclusive playground for use by the disabled and general public.
During the year, you’ll notice other activities being played at the parks such as Ultimate Frisbee, kite flying, youth rugby, horseshoe pitching, walkers and runners, bird watching and more.
The Complex offers individuals with special needs a Five Senses Garden. This is a therapeutic garden that is divided into five sensory sections and relates to the loss of Sight, Taste, Touch, Smell and Sound. Each raised garden bed provides vegetation that associates with the loss of one or all senses.
The park is the home to many visitors throughout the year not to just play sports, but to walk or run the parks “Conner’s Trail”, bird watch, and relax at the Five Senses gardens.
The Culpeper Sports Complex offers the following amenities:
• Six soccer fields
• Three football fields
• Four little league fields
• Two girls softball fields
• One youth baseball field
• Conner’s Trail – a 2.24 miles of multi-use trail, partially ADA accessible
• Therapeutic “Five Senses” raised bed gardens
• Two concession stands complete with restrooms and equipment storage space
• Horse shoe pitching court
• Five sports practice fields
• A detaining pond with small island furnished with a picnic table
• A flag plaza
• Living quarters for the Purple Martin bird
• Coming, an inclusive playground – the “Bright Spot” for disable and able youth ages (2-12) years old.
• One playground for the general public ages (2-12) years old
• Identification of plant species along Conner’s Trail
• Two picnic shelters with bathrooms
• Extention of multi-use trail system
• Environmental study area
• Pave the existing trails around the Bright Spot playground
• Convert a practice field to a synthetic field.
Game and practice ball fields are available for reservations by contacting Parks@CulpeperCounty.gov. For more information call 540-727-3412 ext 4.
Complex Rakes in the Work
It’s been a very busy summer for the Parks and Recreation Department staff. The economic down-swing may have slowed summer recreational offerings, but other projects that were previously put on hold have come to the forefront. Although this is the third summer for the Culpeper Sports Complex, some issues still needed to be addressed. The complex, which is maintained by one full time staff member and supported by a part time contractor, has received many necessary improvements .
The summer started off with full aeration of all field turf to relieve compaction. Low areas and areas that were under the most stress were top dressed. This included the center of football fields, soccer goal mouths and baseball sideline wings. The next step was to seed areas to assure full coverage of turf. Mother nature helped with rain just when we needed it and good hot sunshine. Bermuda turf thrives in the sun.
Moving on, the next big project was to correct drainage problems on the little league baseball and softball fields.
On both softball fields infield mix was added (dirt mixed just for infield play areas) to raise the field center 3 inches. To ensure water moved off the playing surface as quickly as possible, the mix was graded to the baselines. Bases and pitching rubber were raised to match the new grade.
Unfortunately, the four little league fields had bigger drainage problems to solve. The grass infield was removed, then the foundation surface was raised 3 inches, after which it was graded to ensure water drainage off the playing surface. Sod was then laid back on the newly graded surface.
We are always trying to lower costs and improve performance. A new infield design will eliminate a majority of dirt areas and provide many benefits for the players while lowering cost of maintaining the fields. The area around each base has a cut-out filled with infield mix to allow for a safe sliding surface, as the player reaches the base. Home plate and the pitching mound are other areas with cutouts filled with infield mix. This configuration will permit the fields to be playable much sooner after a rain, because the turf infield will absorb the moisture more quickly than a dirt surface.
The final big project was to ensure that all turf that is in-play on all fields has irrigation. Irrigation lines were added to outside edges of the soccer and football fields. With this change fields will be playable and safe from edge to edge.
Baseball and softball fields had no irrigation on the wings from the back stop to 1st or 3rd base lines. This created a very irregular and unsafe surface for players. Irrigation was added to these areas then top dressed and seeded to get and maintain full coverage with turf and avoid injuries.
All this work will ensure that youth will have a safe field to play on and will be able to learn the sport as it should be played. A player should only have to think about the game and not about the effect the playing surface has on them or the ball. The surface should be so good that it becomes effectively invisible to the player. Our staff works extremely hard to achieve this goal for all ball field users.
Successful Grand Opening of Culpeper's New Sports Complex
Amid fidgety Little League sluggers, smiling parents and Minutemen in full regalia, Culpeper County officially unveiled its Community/Sports Complex to an eager public under a breezy spring sky on April 1 marking the culmination of over seven years of planning.
For Culpeper's sizable youth sports community it was a long-awaited dream come true, a place with space to spare to call their own.
"It's a place for young people to learn to participate in sports, learn to win and learn to lose," remarked Culpeper board of supervisors chairman John Coates, who also emceed the event from a covered podium. "This is a place that will build future leaders for our community."
According to attendance figures accumulated by Culpeper County High School's JROTC volunteers, over 1,815 guests visited the event.
"A park of this size is new to Culpeper and a lot of hard work has gone into making this happen," commented John Barrett, Culpeper County's director of Parks and Recreation. "We want this park to be a part of the community and for it to improve the quality of life in the community. We want our park to be seen as a district multi-use park where people can watch their kids play or simply have a picnic."
Among the notable speakers from state and local government were State Senator Edward Houck, D-Spotsylvania, Delegate Ed Scott, R-Madison, Culpeper Mayor Pranas Rimeikis. Four county supervisors and a number of school board members were also in attendance, including Stevensburg District supervisor Bill Chase, who gave a short speech and cut the official commemorative ribbon. Chase flanked by young soccer, football, baseball, softball and lacrosse players took a large pair of scissors to the ribbon, while Minutemen re-enactors handed out baseballs, footballs and lacrosse balls to young sportsmen and women.
A number of special events enlivened the opening ceremony, there was an official ribbon cutting, live music from Brown Bag Special and David Gilmore, a skydiver, a Black Hawk helicopter and a moon bounce for children; sports demonstrations, refreshments and a Remembrance Day display covering notable sports events in the county's history sponsored Culpeper's Department of Tourism.
The county's new sports complex is located just a few minutes away from downtown Culpeper at the junction of Route 29 and Local Route 666 making it remarkably accessible to residents of Culpeper and neighboring counties.
The 59-acre complex currently contains 16 playable football, baseball, softball and soccer fields, however, plans are also in the works for more amenities including concessions, restrooms, a possible pool, basketball courts and playground equipment.
According to Barrett, the project will address the need for ball fields in its first phases and then move on to other projects soon after.
"We want our complex to be an ongoing and evolving community project," commented Barrett.
According to planners, the size and location of the complex is designed to serve county residents within a 15-mile radius.
With an estimated total cost of $4.4 million, additional sources of funding continue to supplement the $3.5 million the project garnered from a bond referendum approved by county voters in 2001. Taking the lead in creating additional funding is the Culpeper Recreation Foundation, a 501C3 non-profit organization. The foundation's primary goal is to cover cost differences between the bond funding and the sports complex's actual cost.