- Parks & Recreation
- Parks & Open Spaces
- Nobadeer Fields
7 Nobadeer Farm Road
At our recent Annual Town Meeting, we felt we did not adequately respond to several questions posed. We would like to take this opportunity to address those concerns and urge voters to express their support for the project at Tuesday’s ballot vote. If the article is supported at the ballot, we would then hope to bring the issue back to the voters at a Special Town Meeting in November. Clearly, the voters expressed frustration that we have not properly taken care of the fields we have now and are reluctant to entrust further investment that might be subject to the same neglect. While that may have been the case in years past, we have, indeed, taken steps in recent years to address the field conditions and the need for more grass fields are greater than ever, given the decision not to move forward immediately with the high school field renovations.
Why the renovation and addition of another field? How are the fields being maintained? Has maintenance ever happened on the turf field? The irrigation failed a few years ago, why was it not repaired quickly and what is being done to prevent it from happening again?
Why the renovation and additional field
The Nobadeer field expansion is phase one of the Parks and Rec Master plan. It is the first of many projects planned for the improvement of the town’s Parks and Recreation Spaces. Natural grass fields require a minimum of 2 growing cycles to establish themselves before they can be opened for play. There are plans in the works to reimagine and expand the recreation offerings at the Delta fields. Before we can start that project, we need to have space for the teams that use the Delta fields to go.
We are working on plans to make improvements to the Softball/baseball fields in Tom Nevers to prepare them to be the home for Nantucket Little league and the additional field at Nobadeer will allow us the space to house the youth Lacrosse program to those fields for a few years. During this time, we will be pushing the limit of recommended play hours on these Nobadeer fields. As part of this preparation the hope was to make improvements to the existing fields’ soil complex and irrigation systems to make sure they are on par and ready for the anticipated use. Part of the expansion plan was the installation of field lighting, to allow for these programs to have ample practice time.
Due to the amount of time it takes to appropriately establish a grass field (minimum of 2 growing cycles) this project would take place in phases to keep our youth programs running. An estimated 3-4 years to complete all phases.
Grass field maintenance
The grass fields at Nobadeer are maintained as part of a larger sports field contract we have in place. Soil tests were done at all fields prior to the start of the contract, allowing us to select and apply the properly formulated fertilizer to the fields. While still following the Nantucket BMP guidelines. The fields are cut twice per week during peak growing season to promote a thicker grass “mat” rather than “tall gangly sprouts”. The contract also includes seasonal aeration and dethatching to combat compaction and aid in water and nutrient absorption. The fields also receive overseeding to the heavy use areas such as goal areas. We are working to find a company to top dress the fields this fall. The current maintenance contract $125k/year.
Irrigation System Failure
Unfortunately, there was an irrigation pump failure that occurred on the fields. Due to Covid supply chain issues it took a long time to get a replacement well pump. We had a similar situation last season at the Tom Nevers Baseball field. We are working on getting estimates to add secondary wells to all the rec fields where we do not already have a backup. This will help two-fold, the secondary well along with serving as a backup will allow us to split the irrigation system between the two wells allowing us to more efficiently irrigate the fields further away from morning game start times.
Replacement of the Turf field
Currently there are no plans to remove the turf field, it plays a vital part to our youth sports program, and will play an even larger role if the expansion project proceeds. We have also started working with the NPS high school programs to allot them time to prepare for state tournament games that will be played off island on turf fields. Our hope is that in the future we will be able to source a new turf field that is PFAS free.
Turf Field Maintenance
The turf is on a biennial maintenance plan, with the maintenance occurring on “ODD” years thus we are scheduled for service this year. Since 2019 the maintenance has been performed by Turf Prep LLC out of Woburn Ma. an extra service occurring in 2020 due to covid concerns. This service includes full decompaction, cleaning and infill leveling. The Turf is also inspected for any needed repairs such as the seams. Associated cost $7-8k per service.
Hopefully this answers any questions that were raised at Town Meeting, and there will be enough support on the ballot vote that this can be brought to Special Town Meeting in the fall for reconsideration.
If the ballot question is approved, can the request be brought to the November STM? Answer “yes, with SB approval”.