October 6, 2020 - Submitted by Hingham Youth Soccer and Hingham Youth Lacrosse
Town sports at Carlson Fields are back! Thanks to the efforts of the Hingham Recreation Department in partnership with Hingham Youth Soccer and Hingham Youth Lacrosse we are seeing green again! When families and young athletes were quarantining for the past six months, Carlson Fields took care as well. When the Hingham Youth Soccer and Lacrosse programs learned the spring 2020 season was out of the question due to COVID, it was decided that Carlson Fields were still going to get its own, “work out”, despite having any players – or any financial resources.
Carlson Fields, which is managed by the Hingham Recreation Department, have been one of the hardest hit locations for overuse. While the good news is that our town sports programs have been flourishing, including the latest field hockey program, the bad news is that finding field space in Hingham to accommodate these town sports programs has been a losing battle. Over the past year, the Town of Hingham has been working on a comprehensive field study to identify the overwhelming needs, along with the importance of “resting” playing fields which typically experience an extremely limited off-season to recover from the excessive number of young athletes repeatedly utilizing the same green space.
But, one of the very few positives the COVID environment presented this past spring, was that it provided a unique opportunity to give some overdue TLC to Carlson Fields. The fields were in dire need of seeding and most importantly, top-dressing the areas that needed to be filled that were unsafe for our young players. Unfortunately, however, the Hingham Recreation Department expressed their financial resources to cover any such restoration were currently tapped from the lack of user fees. Recognizing this was the ideal down-time to rejuvenate these fields and to support our partner.
"I reached out to Mike Brazis of Hingham Youth Lacrosse with a suggestion that both our youth programs that benefit from these fields the most split the $6000 repair costs at Carlson," says Ted Healey, Hingham Youth Soccer Board member. "Mike was all in so it was a go. My only request to the Rec Dept was to make sure we kept watering Carlson while the grass filled in the much needed areas of these fields. We had great results of this work for the Fall. This was just a great success story between our programs and hope to see more of this being done together in town for years to come."
"The fields look the best they have since they opened 8-10 years ago." says Mark Thorell, head of Hingham's Recreation Department. "Typically fees from the youth sports leagues pay for reseeding about 1/3 of the field each year, but because spring sports were cancelled, no fees were collected. We appreciate Hingham Youth Soccer and Hingham Youth Lacrosse for their efforts to get this done." He adds that Hingham Recreation has a great relationship with all the youth sports leagues in town and thankful for all the work these leagues have done to maintain the playing fields of Hingham.
HYS and HYL are proud to have played a visible role in this effort, in partnership with the Rec Department to ensure the continued safety of our young athletes and enhance the natural beauty of our town fields.