Rideout Playground: No Fenced-In Fields
- Closed on
- Town of Concord
- United States of America
On Tuesday, June 24, 2008, the Concord Recreation Commission voted that no permanent or temporary fencing that surrounds a baseball field will be permitted at Rideout Playground. This vote ensures that any future plans to improve the baseball fields at Rideout Playground must not include fencing. The end result preserves the beloved, unrestricted open space at the playground.
When debating the vote, the Recreation Commission noted that the community input on this topic has been significant, from the 100 people in attendance at the first public meeting, to more than 500 signatures on a petition, to more than 60 in attendance at the June 24th meeting. Community involvement definitely factored into the final decision, which is appropriate and appreciated.
Thanks to you all for working so hard on this effort. Whether it was collecting signatures, sending out notification emails, posting notices, signing the petition or attending the meetings, your contributions have helped to preserve West Concord’s treasured resource.
In terms of next steps, Concord Carlisle Youth Baseball/Softball will continue to look for other locations for their premiere field and may come back to the Concord Recreation Commission with a new plan in September. Their new plan could call for improvements to playing fields at Rideout Playground, such as reorienting the playing fields for safety, which would be beneficial to all, but no home run fences would be permitted at Rideout as a result of the vote on June 24th.
Thank you again for your efforts and have a great summer!
In April 2008, Concord-Carlisle Youth Baseball/Softball (CCYB/S), a private organization, presented a proposal to the Concord Recreation Commission to convert Rideout Playground into a premiere baseball facility.
Rideout Playground is an area where people of all ages rest, run, fly kites, and play soccer, baseball, whiffle ball, football and Frisbee in the open space.
After hearing many concerns from the citizens of Concord on the CCYB/S proposal for the playground, the chair of the Concord Recreation Commission put forth proposed guidelines for the redevelopment of Rideout Playground by CCYB/S. The guidelines were presented at the Recreation Commission’s meeting on May 27th, 2008 and include the following:
• Eliminate one 60’ baseball diamond, likely Rideout #2—the one closest to the tot lot area
• Re-orient one 60’ baseball diamond—Rideout #3—in a northeasterly direction to minimize sun glare and possibly be closer to the tree line. (Note: getting closer to the tree line may not be possible if appropriate pathways to the field are added as required by the ADA.)
• Downsize the Concord Academy 90’ practice field (closest to Conant Street) to a 60’ diamond and turn it over for CCYB/S use, and erect a permanent “homerun” fence and warning track around the field. (Note: The homerun fence would be approximately 200 feet from home plate, and a backstop would be 30 feet behind home plate.)
• Investigate adding more parking by extending the lots from Bradford Street and Conant street
The proposed guidelines would maintain the current level of CCYB/S baseball game activity at Rideout Playground but would also add permanent fencing that would enclose one of the fields, compromising the open space currently enjoyed by all at the playground. The fenced-in field, from backstop to homerun fence, would occupy approximately one acre of currently useable space.
The Chair of the Concord Recreation Commission has asked the community, and the Recreation Commission, to consider the proposed guidelines and would like to hear feedback at a community information meeting (to be scheduled) and at the next Recreation Commission meeting in June.
We support eliminating the Concord Academy practice field and retaining the current inventory of three fields for CCYB/S games. We also support addressing any possible safety issues by re-orienting the three fields so that sunlight is not shining in players’ eyes.
We appreciate the Chair of the Recreation Commission’s attempt to address the needs of all constituents, however we fundamentally disagree with the idea of erecting any fencing that will enclose a field—either permanent or temporary— in Rideout Playground, and urge you to sign the petition so that we may collectively provide feedback to Town officials on this matter.
Rideout is a highly utilized public playground that the West Concord community depends upon, and it is not appropriate to fence off a portion of it for private use. There is very little open green space in West Concord, and all of Rideout needs to continue to be available as a multi-purpose recreation area for all.
[If you would like more information, have questions or would like to be included on an email list to receive future updates on this topic, please use the Contact Author link at the bottom of this page.]
We, the undersigned, petition the Town of Concord not to install any fencing — either permanent or temporary — that will enclose a playing field at Rideout Playground.
The Rideout Playground: No Fenced-In Fields petition to Town of Concord was written by Anonymous and is in the category City & Town Planning at GoPetition.