At its meeting on Tuesday, the Parks & Recreation Commission discussed the possibility of switching to organic grass at the Town Common as well as updates regarding the Fruit Street fields project and spring and summer programming.
Jim Agabedis of Minuteman Landscaping attended the meeting to present a plan for organic lawn care on the Town Common. Agabedis explained the basics of organic lawn care, describing the process as safe, natural and effective, as well as a means to restore health to soil damaged by chemical treatments. Services may include soil testing, a soy-based fertilizer program, weed control, aeration and overseeding.
Commissioners asked questions about weather constraints, aesthetics, weeds and costs associated with switching to a chemical-free lawn care plan. Parks & Recreation Director Jay Guelfi will share cost estimates at the next meeting and also will seek additional bids.
Fruit Street turf project awaits bid approval
Guelfi reported that the department is waiting on the town to approve the bid documents that have been submitted on behalf of the Fruit Street fields turf replacement project. Approval is expected by the middle of March, at which point the department will be able to release bid documents and proceed with the project.
New registration requirement for women’s softball approved
The commission discussed concerns about the women’s softball league, including team composition and reported injuries. The league has grown increasingly competitive, Guelfi reported, and teams have formed that are composed entirely of non-residents who are dominating the league with final scores like 30-0. These factors have reportedly led to a drop in Hopkinton residents participating.
In an attempt to encourage past participants to return and to bring the league back into the “spirit of what a Parks & Rec program should be,” as Chair Dan Terry noted, the department recommended that women’s softball teams be required to have 50 percent of their roster be composed of Hopkinton residents. The commission voted to approve the new provision.
“We just want the league to be an intramural league in the vein of men’s pickup basketball,” Guelfi said. “It’s all about fitness and socializing, and we don’t remember the score tomorrow.”
Spring/summer programming updates shared
Guelfi reported that Parks & Recreation was closing in on 1,000 spring and summer program registrations in five weeks, which was ahead of its 2019 pace and nearly on pace with last spring. Guelfi expects that as June approaches, registrations will top off near 2,200.
“People are antsy to get back to doing things,” Guelfi said, “which is good, because I was a little concerned that maybe people moved on and were interested in other things. But summer playground groups and all the sports clinics are all selling out like they normally do.”