Owl Pellet: Weston’s Track and Why It Needs You to Care

Weston’s awesome track

Known to some as Proctor Field, to others as Weston High School’s stadium, the track at 444 Wellesley Street actually belongs to everyone in Weston. You can walk around it just about any time (no lights unless there is a game/competition) — two walkers during last week’s boys soccer game got to see all the best goals up close. Sadly, only one of them was Weston’s.

Today the Owl is all about the track, not the field, which got its re-stitching last year and is in fabulous condition. The track too is still in great condition, and here’s how you are going to help. You are not going to bring Fido inside the fenced area of the track/field. You are not going to go roller skating in the track lanes. Yes, the Owl has witnessed both events in the last week. Does anyone even read signs anymore?

So yes, this is one of those posts you hate–the we-can-do-better-Weston post. The part where I mention that the town put in the Proctor turf field and updated the track by Town Meeting approval in 2017. Happy fifth anniversary! It cost 8 billion dollars to do. Oh fine, let me look up the numbers. The town warrant says $3.9 million so that must be it. You can see more about the project here.

And now that we have this facility where once I heard one out-of-town teammate say to another when arriving at the field: “is this a private school?” Well, it’s not–it’s for Weston residents and their guests, and we had better learn how to take care of it.

Know that wheels of the roller blade and skate variety or really any kind can tear up the track and shorten its lifetime. The track is made for running, jogging and walking. Why in the world do you have your youngster learning to roller skate on the track? Try a sidewalk. Enjoy the high school parking lot, especially the faculty lot which is less busy and has better parkers (ahem). Not the track. The track hates skates. The artificial turf field hates dog poo. Everyone hates dog poo.

Think I’m making this all up? Try again. The Owl spent some time talking with Ben Polimer, Fields and Grounds Coordinator for the Town of Weston and this is what she learned about the track:

Your knees love the Weston track because of this fact: It’s rubber. Did you know that? We are all springy and stuff because there is a thin layer of rubber over asphalt. This rubber starts out black but since we are the maroon wildcats (an animal color found often in nature), our track has been painted dark red over the black. And then, after the red is painted, the white lines dilineated the track lanes are painted on.

It will come as no surprise that the white lines are the first to wear down. And lanes 1 and 2 are the most used of all lanes and usually need care first. Now here’s the point: “needing care” is a euphemism for “this will cost money.” And, if it is one thing I know about this town, it is that its second least favorite thing is maintenance fees. So let’s try to keep our track as happy as possible for as long as possible. It’s for all of us.

Also, there are signs. No dogs in the fenced in area. No roller blading, roller skates, food, blah blah, yeah, I know, Owlets, no one cares.

I will also say that our teams are getting better and better at cleaning up the benches after games. Boys Soccer now recycles its bottles. Why is there no recycle bin at the the Track? I’m not sure. But it turns out you can bring a garbage bag to games and people are happy enough to throw bottles in it. And we give it to Orifice for happy recycling. But this is a story for another day.

For now, please respect the rules and Proctor Track & Field, our beautiful and open-to-all-though-not-every-minute, facility.

We are all ‘cats.

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