To the editor,
At the May 9th Croton Village Board meeting the Croton-Harmon High school Girls’ Softball team were in attendance. They came to speak to us about field conditions at the Village-owned field on which they play – Fireman’s field. A special softball game of the previous week was cancelled due to field conditions.
During their presentation, it became apparent that there is some misunderstanding about field maintenance on fields owned by the Village but used by the school district teams. While the Village does perform turf management and mowing, as well as clay for the diamond, the school system also provides sport-specific work for these fields. When weather affects a field’s condition, both the Village Park Dept. and the School’s maintenance personnel, together, make the call on closing it. This could be to protect the field, to avoid a situation with injury potential, or both. As part of the Village Parks Dept. support of many sports in the village, including baseball, soccer, softball, etc., it maintains all Village-owned fields on a weekly and as-needed basis. This includes Dobbs, Duck Pond, Fireman’s, and Croton Landing Parks.
During the presentation, another issue was raised, that of girls’ teams being less favorably treated than boys’ teams in terms of what fields they play on and the preparation of those fields for the sport being played. In this case the differentiation was that the boys’ teams play on fields that are laid out with turf and dirt according to the desired field conditions of the sport while the fields the girls play on are not up to the sport’s suggested specifications.
Be assured that as the Village’s liaisons to the School District, we will address this issue at the next meeting between the Village and School Board/Administration. To the extent that the field location of various school sports is a School District decision, we urge the team to make this same presentation to the School Board. We take this very seriously.
In the meantime, it is the Village’s responsibility to maintain all our parks and field facilities in the best and safest condition, which we will continue to strive to do.