Victory Field Closing for Most of Summer to Replace Artificial Turf

Charlie BreitroseWatertown hosts Belmont in the annual Thanksgiving Football Game at 10:45 a.m. Thursday. The football and baseball fields at Watertown’s largest athletic complex will be closed this summer. The artificial turf surface that was installed in 2011 will be replaced. Most of the rest of the complex will remain open. Recreation Department Director Peter Centola sent out the following letter about Victory Field:

Good Morning,

Our Victory Complex Artificial Turf Field will be closed Monday June 12 to Wednesday, August 16, 2023, for the purpose of replacing our artificial turf field.

City Council Will Discuss Replacing Victory Field Turf Tuesday

Charlie BreitroseWatertown’s Victory Field. The City Council will consider funding the replacement of the turf at Victory Field at its meeting on Tuesday. The field currently has an artificial turf surface with plastic grass and black rubber fill in between. The proposed new field would have plastic grass, but the fill would be an organic material made from pine trees. The artificial turf was installed in 2011, replacing a natural grass field.

Replacing Victory Field Turf with New Artificial Surface Supported by School Committee

Charlie BreitroseVictory Field is home to Watertown High School’s football team, along with the field hockey, girls and boys soccer, boys and girls lacrosse, and baseball teams.

On Feb. 6, the School Committee supported the recommendation to replace the artificial turf surface at the field most used by Watertown High School’s athletic teams, however some did so with strong reservations because it would be a different type of artificial turf. The artificial turf field at Victory Field is nearing the end of its recommended life. The City plans to replace it with another artificial turf, but with an organic material between the plastic blades of grass. The final decision on whether to approve the project will come from the City Council, and the funding would come from the City’s budget, not the Schools.

City Council Hosting Meeting to Re-Consider Fields Agreement With BB&N

Charlie BreitroseWatertown’s Town Hall. The City Council will host a special meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 1 at 6 p.m. to take another look at the agreement about use of fields made by City with Buckingham Browne & Nichols. In November 2020, the Council voted approve an agreement between Watertown and the school to share fields. BB&N would have access to nearby fields at Filippello Park in the hours right after school, and Watertown residents could use BB&N’s fields in the evenings and on weekends.

Planning Board Approves BB&N Fields Project with Objections About Artificial Turf

BB&NA planning document showing the design for the athletic field to be built by Buckingham, Browne & Nichols School on Grove Street. The project has met resistance from residents who oppose using artificial turf on the fields. After receiving many letters and comments opposing the installation of artificial turf at a new athletic complex being proposed by Buckingham Browne & Nichols School, the Planning Board grudgingly approved the project. The decision was made with strong objections by members of the board and after efforts to delay the vote proved unsuccessful. The project would build two athletic fields on property at 165 Grove Street, just north of Filippello Park.

LETTER: Are More Artificial Turf Fields a Win for Watertown and the Planet?

The following letter is in response to the Town Council’s recent approval of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Town of Watertown and Buckingham Browne & Nichols School to share share fields — the new artificial turf fields planned by the school on Grove Street and the fields at Filippello Park. Dear Watertown,

For more than a decade, the artificial turf industry’s campaign to convincemunicipalities, private schools, colleges and universities to build new artificial turf playing fields and to replace existing grass playing fields with artificial turf has grown steadily and has been highly successful. What has also grown is public opposition to this high powered, highly profitable, and often dishonest campaign. The industry’s claim that artificial turf has been proven to be safe for student athletes and for the general public is untrue. When public input is kept out of the decision-making process, the industry almost always wins.