KENT + FROST LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE TO PRESENT PLANS FOR MERRITT PROPERTY ATHLETIC FIELDS
(Groton, Conn.) – On Monday, September 29, Kent + Frost Landscape Architecture firm will unveil a plan to build new athletic fields at the property formerly known as the Merritt Family Farm. The presentation will take place at 7:30 p.m. at the Groton Town Hall Annex. The public is invited to attend and hear more about the proposed athletic fields plan.
The Merritt property is a 35-acre tract abutting Fitch High School along the south side of Connecticut Route 1 and Connecticut Route 215. 10 percent of the land has been designated for conservation and recreation. A 2013 Comprehensive Athletic Fields Needs Assessment determined that there is a need for multi-use recreational fields for use by the community. The current plan presented by Kent + Frost includes four full size regulation fields and one smaller field, including one championship quality field with lights, spectator seating, controlled access and the possibility for synthetic turf.
The current lack of fields has become a problem for the community. “Every year, Groton Parks and Recreation turns away user groups due to lack of field space,” said Jerry Lokken, Manager of Recreation Services. “The proposed Merritt field complex would certainly address the need for high-quality and safe fields and provide opportunities for citizens to be more active and healthy.”
Local residents have spoken out in favor of the plan, noting that the town’s current athletic fields are no longer meeting the community’s needs. John Casey, President of the Groton Mystic Lacrosse Association and Groton Resident said, “The prospect of additional fields in Groton that would be available for youth lacrosse programs is very exciting. Currently, we are limited by the number of fields, which we have to share among our teams, as well as with other sports. With more fields, and less conflicts, there will be more opportunity for kids to play sports.”
Another Groton resident and local business owner, Tom Vignato, owner and operator of Fields of Fire in Mystic, believes that the new fields will positively impact the local economy. “My kids play on travel sports teams and there are hundreds of other kids in Groton who also play on these teams,” said Vignato. “My family travels all over the Northeast every weekend to play in these tournaments and we spend a lot of money. We have to travel so far because of the lack of quality local facilities. To be able to attract these tournaments to our area would have a tremendous impact financially.”
For more information, please contact the Groton Parks and Recreation department at (860) 536-5680.
The Groton Parks and Recreation Department’s Mission is to provide quality leisure opportunities in a safe and healthy atmosphere and to enhance the quality of life of the community through the responsible management of fiscal and natural resources.