Winter’s Lingering Effects: Continued Bad Weather Has Limited the Use of Local Playing Fields so Far

March 31, 2014
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Due to the extremely late thaw from this past winter and recent rain activity, the city of Lynn has been forced to keep the majority of its playing fields closed to local youth and high school teams seeking to practice for their upcoming seasons.’

With the exception of the two artificial turf playing surfaces at Manning Field and Fraser Field, local teams seeking practice time on fields around the city have been kept out in the cold.

“At this time, the fields are just too wet,” explained Assistant Public Works Commissioner Lisa Nerich, who oversees all of the city’s natural playing fields. “Hopefully, we’ll get some sun and wind on the fields and they and dry out, but so far, we’ve just been able to work on the plates and pitchers mounds. As far as preparing the fields, we can’t get the trucks on them yet.”

“Last week, we had to melt ice off the fields and this week, we’re dealing with rain,” added John Kasian of the Community Development Office, which oversees Manning and Fraser fields.

According to Kasian, the turf field at Manning Field has been opened since March 17 and is currently being used. Lacrosse has been practicing at Manning Field. Fraser Field, which only has an artificial infield, was not ready to open until this past Saturday (March 29) and baseball practices there did start before the rains started on Saturday afternoon.

“As for Fraser Field, we’re probably about a week behind with opening the fields and now we’ve got rain, so we’ll have to see how that affects the fields.

In a city with four high schools and multiple youth sports leagues, the two artificial fields are not enough to meet the demand for practice time.

According to Nerich, a meeting to discuss the field conditions at other city parks was scheduled for Monday afternoon with Jeff Stowell, who oversees maintenance of the natural fields in the city. That meeting will look ahead at the forecast, and try to determine a timetable for getting the fields in playable shape as soon as possible, based on the expected weather..

“Once we can get the fields to dry off, we’ll be able to open them up,” said Nerich.

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