Sports

Bayfield croquet club expands from two courts to three

BAYFIELD — The Bayfield International Croquet club is in the early stages of  a plan to expand their playing area from two courts to three.

Past president of the club, Roger Lewington, appeared before the Bluewater municipal council April 18 to give an update on the plans to expand  the club, located at 100 David Street in Bayfield,  and to ask the council for a letter of approval.

“We are pleased to advise that we were successful in our grant application to partially fund the project. We have been working on this expansion project for three years, and have reserves  in  the  club accounts  to  fully  fund  the  project.  There  is  no  cost  to  the  municipality.  I  believe  there  is  a  letter  of  approval  from  the  municipality  for  the  club  to proceed,” said Lewington in a letter to the council’s CAO.

Current club president, Toni Kemp, said  they are still in the planning stages, and not in a position to discuss the exact cost of the project.

“When you do something like this, it’s quite amazing. It overlaps quite a few regulatory bodies,” she said. “We’re hoping to have it done this season, but we need to get all of our approvals. We are in the planning stages right now. We have not put a shovel in the ground.”

The proposed third croquet court would be west of the current courts and equal in size. To make room for the court, it is expected several trees would need to be removed from the westerly edge of the property.

“This  will  be  kept  to  a minimum,” said Lewington in his letter. “We also hope to plant new trees in other site locations, as part of the final landscape plan.”

The plan is also to create a berm on the north side of the parking lot.

Increased demands on the courts due to high membership is the reason for the expansion.

“We’ve certainly exceeded our need for play,” Lewington said.

The current site, leased on municipal land, was developed about eight years ago on a section  of abandoned gravel pit, behind the Bayfield cemetery.

The Bayfield International Croquet club is more than 40 years old and is one of the largest clubs in North America with more than 100 members.

Coming up June 3 to June 5, the club will host the second annual Bayfield International Croquet Tournament, expected to attract croquet players from across Canada and some parts of the U.S.

Bluewater Coun. George Irvin referred to the planned expansion an “exciting endeavour.”

Deputy Mayor Jim Fergusson moved that council “gives its blessings to the project,” which was seconded by Counc. Dave Roy. before it was passed.

Visit www.bicc.ca for more information about the Bayfield International Croquet club, as well as a map of the proposed court and pictures of the existing site.