We Want Artificial Turf

0:00 To the Editor: On a recent February weekend, the temps climbed to 60 degrees. While it was definitely unseasonably warm, temps in the 40’s […]

Published February 22, 2024 2:27 PM
2 min read

0:00

To the Editor:

On a recent February weekend, the temps climbed to 60 degrees. While it was definitely unseasonably warm, temps in the 40’s and 50’s are not unexpected during the winter months in Rye. Unfortunately, the mild temps once again showed that our community is greatly lacking in public, accessible, year-round field space for our children.

Through my kitchen window on Hillside Road, I observed young Rye Country Day athletes getting ready for their upcoming spring seasons on the private turf baseball and lacrosse fields. At the Rye High School turf field, so many kids and parents were assembled that local Rye kids had to ask their parents to drive them to Harrison, Mamaroneck, and Greenwich to be able to play.

Simultaneously, the publicly owned but fenced off Nursery Field was being used by local neighbors as a private dog run with several dogs frolicking off-leash. (For visual evidence, check out the @letthekidsplayrye Instagram post from 2/10/24.) This field will not be available for public use again until mid-April and only if the conditions are deemed playable.

This is not OK. At the center of the ongoing battle over Nursery Field is the age-old “Not in My Backyard” (aka NIMBY) mindset that is ripping our community apart. The designed improvements at Nursery Field would improve the surrounding area by substantially upgrading the drainage, enhancing the landscaping, and eliminating the need for seven months of wooden fencing and signs stating “Field Closed.” Additionally, the aesthetics of the playing surface from Milton Road and the neighboring streets would be unchanged as modern turf design looks exactly like manicured grass (and without the pooling water or mud swaths). 

City staff, subject matter expert consultants hired by the City of Rye and both the Rye Recreation Commission and the Planning Commission are all in favor of these improvements that have continuously been found “will have no adverse impact on the surrounding neighborhood.”

Those opposed to this project cite studies from 10 to 30 years ago and refuse to acknowledge the greater good while towns around us prioritize field space either as a capital improvement or by partnering with residents to raise the necessary funds.

A community is greater than any individual or neighborhood and the current and future kids of Rye deserve progress not politics.

– Brett Ehrlich

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