Norfolk Recreation Commission Completes Major Investment in Fields
The Norfolk Recreation Commission is pleased to announce that they have completed an investment of over $100,000 aimed to improve and upgrade the conditions of the town’s fields. The funding was made possible in large part thanks to the Community Preservation Committee (CPC) as well as Norfolk residents, who ultimately authorized the funds at Town Meeting.
The improvements included remaking the entire infield of the Cal Ripken (youth) Field 8 at the Freeman-Kennedy School (including new sod and new mound); releveling and grading the Babe Ruth field at the Pond Street Recreation Complex; expanding and regrading one of the softball infields at the Freeman-Kennedy School to reduce maintenance and expand its longevity; purchasing new bases and home plates for the most heavily used fields; and a new paint job for the dugouts and snack shack on Field 8 provided by The Norfolk Baseball Association, which also spearheaded the construction of new dugouts at the Pond Street Cal Ripken field last season. The field work was performed by Sports Turf Specialties (STS) out of Wrentham. Additionally, while field usage was absent this spring because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Norfolk Recreation took advantage of the quiet times and amended the soil and reseeded the soccer fields.
“This project was the definition of a team effort,” said Norfolk Recreation Commission Chairman William Rigdon. “From the members of the CPC and Recreation Commission to Norfolk Baseball and Norfolk Softball to our Recreation Director, Ann Proto, to our generous taxpayers at Town Meeting, every citizen played a role in seeing this through; and we cannot thank each and every one of them enough. When I first got on the Recreation Commission two years ago, the one thing that everyone kept bringing up was the need to improve our fields and better collaborate with an overburdened DPW. Fields and open space are a huge benefit that all residents in our small community can enjoy, and we could not be happier or prouder that everyone was able to come together to invest in our shared goal to provide the best possible facilities for our town. We look forward to continuing to work together to create a new culture that focuses on maintaining this investment for years to come.”
Under the State’s Phase III Re-Opening Plan both Norfolk Baseball and Norfolk Girls Softball were able to play this summer. Some soccer will also return this fall. Norfolk Recreation looks forward to when they can once again welcome the close to 2,000 weekly visitors typically seen in a normal season.
Ann Proto, Norfolk’s Recreation Director, commented, “When it comes to athletic fields, our first focus is safety and renovated fields assure us that the grading is correct, the holes are gone, and the fields drain properly, so we know the players are safe. An added plus is that renovated fields don’t just look great, they play great. I hope everyone takes pride in the condition of our fields along with the appearance of our facilities. We look forward to welcoming the return of all players and their families.”
Norfolk Community Preservation Committee (CPC) chair, Cyndi Andrade, added, “I think Committee members understood how important it is to have safe, renovated, and maintainable fields that welcome not only Norfolk residents, but also those from other communities. Community Preservation Act (CPA) funds can be used for open space and recreation, affordable housing, and historic preservation. This project was a perfect example of the application of CPA for a recreation project that otherwise might have had to be funded through the Norfolk town budget. CPC is very appreciative for the support of the Norfolk community in approving this project at Town Meeting.”
“Norfolk Girls Softball very much appreciates the support Norfolk Recreation and Norfolk DPW provide to our players” said Norfolk Girls Softball President Tim Weineck of the changes. “The recent improvements, supported by the residents of Norfolk, are contributing to our player safety and helping us to keep our program strong.”
On the baseball side of things, Norfolk Baseball Association’s Commissioner Barry Zimmerman offered, “We are grateful for the support of the Recreation Department, CPC, and the Town of Norfolk for helpingNBA with the renovations of the fields and our dugout project at Pond Street. It has been great to see the players enjoying the fields this summer, and it just reminds us all how important it is to bring the Norfolk community together through sports, especially at this point in time.”
The Norfolk Recreation Commission reminds all residents to abide by physical distancing and mask requirements of the Commonwealth when enjoying our new fields.