Volunteers from Joplin Little League work to clean Landreth Park

JOPLIN, Mo. —Thursday’s flooding has left some lasting marks on Landreth park. Especially at their little league fields.

“We’ve got a whole line of steel posts over here, concrete posts and everything completely washed up out of the ground….it got on top of our equipment inside so I have two expensive lawn mowers and another lawn tractor that have water inside the engines,” said Joplin Little League vice president Bob Ventura.

Volunteers consisting mainly of families that participate in the little league headed to the park on Saturday to start the cleanup process.

“Well there’s so much trash washed into the fencing, the chain link, it just holds it in there, so it has to be dragged out with rakes,” Ventura said.

Lukas Hampton, a volunteer, and member of the little league team said they decided to spend their Saturday cleaning up because they want kids in the future to have the same experience as them.

“I didn’t think it was that bad and then we drove by and we saw all this and then we drove by and saw this and, we basically thought that field was a total loss and it kinda sucks because this was my childhood, baseball was my childhood. I played here my whole life…I figured I wanna help to get this for other kids like me who really enjoyed playing baseball and for them to have a childhood out here and play,” Hampton said. 

Officials with the little league team say they need to eventually move locations 

“Moving forward we’re gonna have to build a new facility, we’ll have to get out of here. um, the stormwater work is doing a great job of clearing out the city but it’s bringing it all here. and the better time they do the shorter time we’ve got here. we own property but it’ll be a very expensive undertaking. we’re gonna need support from the community and businesses around to help us do that,” said Ventura.

He added that they hope by cleaning up today, they’ll have two of their fields playable by Tuesday.