PEPPERELL -- As you pass by the soccer fields at the Varnum Brook Elementary School, you may have noticed a big landscape project underway in the fenced in fields. These fields are known as the Comiskey Field. While the actual property is town property, Pepperell Youth Soccer League has regularly contributed to the upkeep of this green space. The current renovation of Comiskey Field is no different.
The PYSL board has coordinated with landscapers and contractors to get the job done. The full cost of the renovation is being paid by the PYSL with proceeds from more than 15 years of the annual Fall Classic, the Annual Columbus Day weekend tournament.
"It is important that everyone knows that this is not a town funded and is not a school funded project," said Tim Phoenix. "This is considered a gift to the town from PYSL for annual use of the field space. "PYSL is one of many town organizations that makes use of town owned space, and as do other town groups, PYSL is willing and able to gift the town by improving the usable fields.
If you have ever driven by the Comiskey Field on a soccer season weekend or most any Fall or Spring evening during soccer season, you know these soccer fields are very well used. Other then general maintenance, this field has not been touched since the late 70s early 80s. PYSL board members, Tim Phoenix and Al Patenaude are overseeing the revamp of Comiskey. This project was made possible not only by PYSL Fall Classic funds, but also by area landscapers and contractors donating either labor hours or machines, or by their offering reasonable rates for tasks along the way. The range of tasks in this field rehabilitation -- PYSL project involved clearing brush from around the field, cutting down dead trees and pruning limbs, clearing poison ivy from edges and pulling roots from the playing fields. It involved tilling of the ground, leveling, grading and seeding the space.
Originally, the Comiskey fields were able to accommodate three U10 fields. With this overhaul of the space, it will now accommodate four U10 games, or has the potential for two U12 fields. This increase in game space is due to creative clearing, grading and leveling of the existing footprint. The revamp of Comiskey fields will allow for better rotation of field usage by the age levels, and will thereby lengthen the life of the fields, according to PYSL board volunteers Tim Phoenix and Al Patenaude.
"The new grass on the field was planted in soil mixed with a conditioning agent called Turface" explained Al Patenaude. "It is a product added to soil expressly for athletic fields, to improve drainage, reduce compaction, hold moisture. The Turface will cushion the play space, and it will hold moisture in at the goal areas."
During the field project, fencing came down and will all go back up, plus about 140 feet of additional fencing. The field will be off-limits until Spring 2014 when soccer games will once again be scheduled on Comiskey Fields.
If your children play for the town, and you would like to be more involved in the PYSL and similar projects to this field renovation, visit www.pepperellsoccer.org Or, perhaps you are intrigued by Pepperell Youth Soccer League and their giving back to the town of Pepperell and are a supporter of youth sports, volunteers are always welcome to PYSL and so many other great community groups in town.