Groton Parks Dept. Spearheads Major Expansion of Playing Fields
GrotonDunstable Recreation Association, a group of citizens representing a number of youth sports groups strongly supports the Groton Parks Commissioners in applying for Community Preservation Committee grant for $309K that along with a state PARC grant ($400K) and major fundraising by the Recreation Association will start the efforts for three youth sports fields on 11 of the 35-acre, town-owned land located beyond Cow Pond Brook. They will be called Ledge Rock fields. Based on all the anticipated funds, the town may be asked for an additional $100K plus for the balance needed to make the fields a reality.
Recreation Association has already invested $10K for an engineering assessment of the property. The fields will provide badly needed space for some 2000 athletes, including soccer (1000), baseball (400), Lacrosse (400) and baseball and softball (several hundred.) The association will contribute an additional $50K to the effort.
Parks Commission Chairman Jon Strauss said that the work is being done by this coalition of youth athletic groups and not the Parks Department. He stressed that if "there were no need for these fields, the Recreation Association wouldn't work so hard to do it."
In addition to the three playing fields, there is also a trailhead that accommodates riding, biking and walking all the way to Tyngsborough - and there is room for a track in the future if it is needed. In addition there will be parking for 100 cars, relieving some of the pressure from the cow Pond Brook fields.
Strauss stressed that the Conservation Commission took a unanimous vote to remove their request for $150K from the CPC application process so that the playing fields could use these funds. Strauss reported that the comment from the ConCom was, "This is a really nice project and we want you to have the opportunity to go forward."
In addition, the CPC voted unanimously for the project after a detailed review of the plans. Strauss pointed out that if the CPC had a concern about the state PARC grant, they would not have approved the proposal.