Community preservation (CPA) Funds requests: Burchard

There are five requests for Weston CPA funds this spring. In no particular order, but rather the order in which I am paying attention to them, I thought I’d take a look at the general requests. Note that these have not gone through public hearing, and are not up for Town Meeting discussion yet. These are simply presentations to the Community Preservation Committee.

First up is one near and dear to my heart: Re-habilitation of Burchard Park, home of Weston Little League (baseball and softball). Burchard’s land was bought by the town of Weston in 1977 and had a couple of soccer fields on them. In 2007/2008, private funds were raised to create Burchard Park–five baseball and softball fields. There is also a snack shack where hot dogs and zoo-zoos (that’s my dad’s word for munchies) can be bought during baseball games. It is an amazing facility, largely cared for by a dedicated phalanx of baseball-crazed volunteers. To keep things baseball-ready, maintenance costs around $35,000 per year including mowing, aeration and irrigation.

Before I go on and on about maintenance, I will tell you that I am a huge fan of Weston Little League. When we moved here from Brazil in 2014, both of my sons played only soccer. They had never picked up a baseball bat. My son’s best friend in 2nd grade–a friendship made on the first day of school–was a baseball player and for two years he relentlessly asked my son to try it out. Finally, he did. And he was terrible, but was fortunate to play on his best friend’s team with his best friend’s dad as coach. And this dad spent many extra hours working with my son, who eventually played Little League from 4th to 6th grade when he was selected to the Weston Williamsport team. It’s a Cinderella story…well, until they got knocked out of the hunt. My son now plays for a club baseball team and considers it his second favorite sport. All because the Little League in Weston is supportive and welcoming. Okay, story over. Where was I?

Oh yes. The fields take an extraordinary amount of use–the high school cross country team uses it as their start and finish line, dog walkers lead their dogs there on-leash past the fields (haha, see my prior post) and hikers to the College Pond conservation land also pass through there. The fields have suffered from joy-riding cars, and massive wear and tear. Check out this photo of the first base path at Field 1:

From CPC presentation, Charlie Hipwood 2/1/2021

Two estimates for repairs to the five fields have put repairs in the ballpark (yeah, I did it) of $48-65,000. The ask for CPA funds is up to $75,000. This is for “extraordinary repairs and improvements” and is not expected to be an ongoing ask. With the expertise of Fields Manager Ben Polimer, maintenance will be undertaken by those who really understand rather than just well-meaning volunteers.

Date of public hearing: March 22, 2021.

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