Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Pondering What We Can Find on Google Earth

Google Earth can provide a wealth of visual information regarding what is and is not within a community.

In my pondering about whether there truly enough ball fields in OUR community, I decided to take a look at OUR community and zoom in on some athletic facilities in our area to consider whether more ball fields are necessary rather than just demanded by a minority number of residents of OUR community.

"Ball fields" in my pondering are considered by me to be both baseball diamonds and softball fields where youth and adults can place a mitt on their hand if they choose and either bat or field a round ball, usually containing some threading or raised examples of threads.

I wanted to also include several illustrations of different types of playing surfaces that may be built in the future at Mary Star of the Sea High School, Rolling Hills Prep, S.R.H.S. 15, and Marymount College as they all may play a role in our future.

I did not provide any illustration of Knoll Hill.

I feel there should be consideration for thinking that OUR community's youth want to participate sporting events, other than baseball or softball. So I used Google Earth to find four different types of facilities that youth might wish to participate with and also consider how many of those different types of facilities are available in OUR community

Below are four sets of photos and illustrations depicting the swimming pools of sufficient length for competition, indoor gymnasiums for basketball, soccer fields and ball fields our youth might want to use.

Each different type of facility provides teams of different numbers of participants with basketball usually having the fewest members on each team.

You can click over the images to enlarge the combined pages.

The swimming pools illustrated are located at: Peck Park, the Elks Lodge, Miraleste Intermediate School, the Y.M.C.A. and the proposed pool at the South Region High School Number 15 campus. The Fort MacArthur swimming pool is also included, but it may have a limited number of folks who can participate in events there.

Next we can find gymnasiums for indoor basketball games. Here are the gyms that are illustrated in the above combined illustration:
Both the "Boy" gym and the brand new gym at S.P.H.S., Peck Park, Miraleste Intermediate, Dodson Intermediate, Bogdanovich Park, the Y.M.C.A., the proposed gym at South Region High School Number 15, and the proposed gym at Marymount College.

I did not include any indoor gyms for the Boys and Girls club of San Pedro or the Boys and Girls Club of the Port of Los Angeles. I also did not include any gyms at the old Mary Star High School campus or Holy Trinity school.

The third illustration includes fields where soccer can be enjoyed by everyone. The current fields at both the new Mary Star campus and Rolling Hill Prep are far too small to be considered fields where a regular soccer game can be played on.

The fourth illustration should not need too much explanation. There are two fields that appear in both the soccer illustration and the illustration above.
Miraleste Intermediate School and Dodson Intermediate School have fields that incluse space for both soccer and/or baseball/softball.
So in review we can see six competition length swimming pools, seven current gyms and two proposed gyms for basketball, approximately 12 or more soccer fields, and a minimum of 21 ball fields between Palos Verdes Drive North on the north, the harbor on the east, the ocean on the south, and Portuguese Bend on the west.
I could have included football fields in the mix, but I feel you should all be able to clearly see there are more ball fields available for youths to play at then there are pools, indoor gyms, and soccer fields.
Perhaps if some of the kids who would normally play baseball with Eastview Little League want to take up swimming, basketball, and soccer, there may not be such a demand to have more ball fields.
I certainly understand that kids are required to share sporting fields and courts with adults, but by viewing the number of ball fields already dedicated to organized youth baseball or softball, it should be apparent that there are already quite a few places where kids can play ball.
Perhaps we need more ball fields in OUR community. But it looks like we also need more competitive length swimming pools, especially in sunny southern California. We could easily use more indoor basketball courts and it looks like there may not be enough soccer fields in OUR community either.
It does seem to me though, that there are more ball fields than any other type of constructed or proposed facilities for sports, by looking at Google Earth.
Perhaps we should encourage youth to take up competitive cross-country, more bicycle touring, tennis, weight training, surfing, ocean swimming, golf, or any of a wide array of other individual and team sports not already listed.
There is one illustration I did not include that I probably should have.
I didn't include the park lands and open spaces east of Gaffey Street AND east of Pacific Avenue in San Pedro.
Had I included those areas along with a large overhead of the number of residential units east of Gaffey and then east of Pacific Avenue, perhaps folks demanding more ball fields might see that there is already far too little parks or open spaces east of the two large streets mentioned.
Don't the youth and adults living in the eastern portion of San Pedro deserve some more park lands and open spaces the rest of us enjoy closer to our homes?
Why should eastern San Pedro residents have to transport themselves to parks not as close to their homes as we have in other areas of OUR community.
The new park along 22nd. Street and Knoll Hill are fairly far apart but they will offer residents living within walking distance more options, it seems.
Please take an objective look at what we have as current sports facilities and what we can view east of Pacific Avenue in terms of parks and open space.
Along Western Avenue we enjoy a great deal of parks and open spaces, all within about 1/4 mile from Western Avenue.
Where Western Avenue enters Lomita, there are baseball diamonds. Extremely close to where Western Avenue has its southern end, there is a baseball diamond.
Along the way there is Peck Park, Bogdanovich Park, Dodson Intermediate and there could be baseball and or softball fields at Mary Star and Rolling Hills Prep.
I think eastern San Pedro residents should be provided with more of what so many of us have close to our homes, don't you?

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