Renovated Capuano Field now open
Updated: Feb 18
Published for The Somerville Times August 14 2019 Issue
Link to story: http://www.thesomervilletimes.com/archives/93314
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On Friday, August 9, Mayor Joseph Curtatone cut a red ribbon to celebrate the opening of the newly renovated Capuano Field, located at 150 Glen St. The project was carried out with the cooperation of the Office of Strategic Planning and Community Development (OSPCD), Ward 1 City Councilor Matthew McLaughlin, The Mayor’s Office, East Somerville Community School committee, and Somerville Youth Soccer League.
“When I grew up at Somerville, this park was known as the ‘dust bowl,’” McLaughlin said. “Unfortunately, it was a dangerous place to be. It was an unsafe area. And I’m very proud to see that this park is now one of the most actively used parks in the city, a place that people feel safe, a place that the community feels like they have ownership over.”
The original field was built with a synthetic surface about 12 years ago, but Curtatone said after a decade the synthetic field must be replaced. The field is one of the most heavily used athletic fields in Somerville. Neighbors and adults use the park daily for walking and play. Somerville Youth Soccer League and other high school soccer teams practice in the field too.
Lillian Martin, 13, lives across the street from the field. She plays soccer for leisure and training with the Somerville Youth Soccer League and Massachusetts Youth Soccer’s Town Select League. “I’m excited because there used to be like a giant hole in this field,” Martin said. “It was like really annoying and the field was kind of trashy and nobody really wanted to play on it. So it’s good that it’s like a new field and it’s like better now.”
Project manager and landscape architect Luisa Oliveira said they decided to replace the crumb rubber in the turf field with plant based infill instead. The new infill lessens heat radiating from the field. This is a new technology the OSPCD use on the field and East Somerville Community School.
“We also want to make sure we meet our sustainability goals. Our goal is to take on climate change. This field is the first plant based infill field here in the city,” Curtatone said. “It’s not as bouncy, which could be too bouncy with the crumb rubber, but a better give than a traditional grasp. That’s important for safety purposes.”
Capuano Field is only one of the many projects OSPCD are working on to improve the city including Prospect Hill Park, different playgrounds, community paths and more. The strategic reinvestment program aims to modernize athletic fields and spaces in the city and make sure they’re available to Somerville residents.
“I’m a Somerville resident. I’m a lifelong soccer player and I have coached in our youth leagues,” Director of Mobility at OSPCD Brad Rawson said. “I have coached on this field when it was in really, really rough shape. It gives me great pride and great excitement, to know that our residents and our young athletes are going to have a modern safe facility for everybody to enjoy and play on.”