More than 100 volunteers clean up flooded OHYSA fields

On Sunday, more than 100 volunteers came out to clean up the Oak Hill Youth Sports Association, or “OHYSA,” baseball and softball fields next to Williamson Creek. Floodwaters washed over most of the association’s fields during Friday’s storms.  

“It just looked trashed. The batting cages were all messed up, part of the fence was like out of the ground, so it was just completely torn up,” explained Ben Forrest, a 16-year-old OSHYA coach and volunteer. 

Volunteers said the water washed away much of the dirt on the infield. This winter, OSHYA recently completed an infield renovation project. The nonprofit had worked to raise funds for the project for a long time. 

Water also distributed debris throughout the parking lot -- such as wood, glass and even syringes. The association determined the clean up was unsafe for children. 

Volunteer, parent and OSHYA coach Ian Keber said the most difficult part of the clean up is the gravel. Gravel from the parking lot was washed into the field. Volunteers spent the day raking up each tiny stone and bagging them. 

The work is tedious, but Keber says it’s worth it. 

“We just know that the importance of what sports and activities do for kids, what having good and safe playfields to play on means for them for wanting them to come back out” 

The fields have been a community staple for years. Many volunteers played on the fields as children, and wanted to “pay it forward.” 

"I played here since I was super little, I love this place… and my little brothers playing here now. So, I want to kind of play it back to them because they’ve done so much for me.” said Forrest.