Carencro’s Pelican Park getting major makeover

The city’s Pelican Park is in line for a major overhaul before the end of the year.

The City Council approved spending up to $550,000 this month to add more artificial turf and renovate dugouts at the park, a popular venue for regional and national softball tournaments.

“It’s just to spruce up the park, just keep up with the times,” said Carencro Parks and Recreation Commission Chairman Murray Conque.

Pelican Park’s four diamonds are mostly turfed except for the base lines and outfield.

The planned project will add new artificial turf on the base lines and push it farther into the outfield.

The turf improvements will reduce maintenance expenses and mean a quicker recovery after rainstorms, Conque said.

“If it rains, 10 minutes after, we can play,” he said.

The work to add the new turf and to renovate the dugouts is scheduled to begin in early November and be finished by the end of the year, before the ball season picks up early next year.

Conque said the park’s slow time is usually November and December.

“Other than that, it’s pretty much a seven-day-a-week thing,” he said.

About 3,000 games are played each year at the park’s four diamonds, according to information from the city.

Pelican Park first opened in 1983 as a privately run facility but closed in 1990.

Carencro purchased the park in 1994, and several improvements have been made since then.

The 32-acre facility has a half-mile walking and jogging trail, a 2-acre lake and an outdoor stage.

The money for the improvements planned this year come from a one-third of a penny sales tax dedicated to recreation projects in the city.