Recreation Director Discusses Possible Improvements, New Programs

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Watertown Recreation Director Peter Centola shared some of his ideas for how to improve the Recreation facilities and programs when he appeared before the Town Council for his budget hearing.

The redevelopment of the Grove Street entrance at Filippello Park is one of the bigger projects coming up. Centola said he planned to hold public meetings on the project soon.

Other park improvements include:

  • Court resurfacing and improve batting cages at Bemis Park and O’Connell Park
  • Court resurfacing at Lowell School Playground and Arsenal Park

The town’s artificial turf field at Victory Field has been very popular with youth and high school sports teams. So much so, that it been difficulty getting teams on the field when they want time.

Councilor Aaron Dushku said that he is part of Watertown Youth Soccer, and coaches have complained that they cannot get time on town fields in the spring time. He worried that the town is renting out the field and giving priority to fee-paying groups over town groups.

Centola said fields are only rented out when no town group wants the field. He added that Youth Soccer’s primetime is during the fall.

“We had some bumps in the road in early spring,” Centola said. “Soccer is not really a spring sport. In fall they are the priority.”

Dushku noted that soccer still has high participation in the spring.

Centola also plans to upgrade the dog park at Howe Park. A parking area should be added and the surface needs to be replaces with something more durable.

“The grass has worn away. The dogs don’t mind but the people do,” Centola said.

In addition, he recommends pushing the fence in a bit to allow space for parking at the park.

Centola hopes to work out a plan for the outdoor skating rink at Casey Park to deal with bigger snow storms.

“Two inches and I am out there or a park ranger is out there shoveling but what happens if there is six inches on the ice?” Centola said. “We didn’t have a plan day to day for removal of snow.”

Centola also hopes to work on providing more programs for adults. Many are run through the Boston Ski & Sports Club and held at fields and other places around Watertown.

The Recreation Department works with other groups and organizations in Watertown, Centola said. They received a $3,000 grant from the Marshall Home Fund to provide services for seniors. This summer, Camp Pequossette will lose its space at Watertown Middle School for a couple weeks, but Centola said the Watertown Boys & Girls Club will allow the camp to use its facility.

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