Plan for Waukesha's 'Sparks Complex' unveiled, memorializing parade victim Jackson Sparks
WAUKESHA, WI (CBS 58) -- A special memorial is in the works for a little boy from Waukesha.
8-year-old Jackson Sparks died after being injured in the Waukesha Christmas Parade attack on November 21, 2021.
Now, a team is working on the creation of a new baseball field dedicated to Sparks.On Monday, April 18, the Waukesha Parks, Recreation and Forestry board unanimously recommended approval for the "Sparks Complex" baseball field to be built at William R. Oliver Park.
The next step is to send the project to the Waukesha Planning Commission for approval.
Those who knew Jackson Sparks certainly knew about his love for baseball. Waukesha County native Matt Drvaric knew the community needed a way to memorialize Jackson after his untimely passing, and he knew that the idea had to be a home run.
"His spirit should be embodied in a location where others can share in it alongside him," Drvaric told CBS 58.After hearing stories about Jackson's favorite past time, Drvaric, who is a fellow baseball lover, partnered with Sean Cullen of JP Cullen Construction, as well as the Waukesha County Community Foundation to plan a baseball field in Jackson's honor. "We are fortunate to be able to marry passions of ours with such a great cause, and have the Sparks family truly support us doing this on their behalf," Drvaric said. The estimated $1.3 million project will include a turf field, fencing, bleacher seats, a viewing box, LED stadium lighting and more.
The most notable fixture will be a new sign and memorial plaza at the entrance, reading "Sparks Complex."
"Youth sports provide a great avenue to learn a lot of life lessons, and think that's one of the biggest pieces here that Jackson's spirit will carry on forward," Drvaric said, "At the end of the day, it's something that shines a light on a very dark moment."
The Waukesha Parks, Recreation and Forestry Board President, John Schmitz, provided this statement to CBS 58:
"It is another example of how people come together and do amazing things for others. The event that lead to this happening was historically tragic. This project will not only be a historic dedication to Jackson Sparks and his love of baseball, but also a powerful message now and far into the future that people are good and do wonderful things. There are very young kids impacted by the tragedy, whether they were there or saw it on television. This Sparks Complex will be one of those places that every kid that plays ball there will have that extra energy in their step and bigger smile on their face. This is definitely the right thing to do."
Credit: Julia Bohlen
A donation fund is now open through the Waukesha Community Foundation's website.
The plan is to finish "Sparks Complex" by Spring of 2023, in honor of #23 - Jackson's baseball number.
You can find more details about Sparks Complex here.