Frequently Asked Questions
An exciting Community project initiated by the Winchester Soccer Club is underway to develop two connected properties on Cross Street in Winchester. Once completed, the 8.7 acre property will provide an integral link connecting Davidson Park, Leonard Field and Pond, and Muraco School Field into one continuous green space along the banks of the Aberjona River. The project will create the first net new multi-sport playing fields in Winchester in over thirty years and reclaim, improve and beautify a brownfield site currently unsuitable for recreational purposes. Winchester Community Park (WCP) will create open space to be enjoyed by Winchester families for generations to come.
The Winchester Community Park (WCP) project dovetails into the proposed Tri-Community Greenway/bike path and also with the Winchester Master Plan -Phase II, which includes improving existing green spaces and the creation of new recreation areas in town.
Why is Winchester Soccer Club (WSC) initiating this?
WSC is one of the largest and most successful town soccer organizations in Massachusetts, and for 40 years has been offering Winchester families the opportunity for their children to learn soccer and engage in reasonably priced sandlot (in-town) and travel play in the fall & spring seasons. As an organization which is managed exclusively by volunteer Winchester residents, the primary focus of the club is contributing to the community by teaching children the values of fitness, team work, and fair play. With more and more Winchester kids engaging in various youth sports, finding usable field space is an impediment for local youngsters in all sports particularly given there are no town fields with lights for evening play, and limited artificial turf facilities (1 field only). WSC’s vision is that Winchester Community Park will add much needed field space to our town helping all local sports programs, while at the same time beautifying and revitalizing the area bordering the Aberjona River and Leonard Pond.
How many fields will be at WCP?
The facility will have three fields, including 2 large, lit, multi-sport artificial turf fields, and 1 smaller engineered natural grass field. A field house enclosing one of the fields is also part of the plan, to enable year-round play. The field house will also include a snack bar, restrooms, lockers, training areas and meeting space.
Will there be other areas included for non-sports use?
Current plans include a walking path on the perimeter of the park, along the Aberjona River. In addition, pending future town approval, WSC is interested in building a footbridge over the river to connect WCP with Leonard field’s tennis courts and playground and Muraco field’s playground. The project is also slated to include park benches and picnic tables along the fields and river for families to enjoy.
As a brownfield site, will the park be safe for children to play?
The safety of our children and fellow Winchester residents is of utmost concern to WSC. Recognizing this potential issue, the first step of the project was contracting an environmental testing firm to perform thorough testing of the soil and ground water on the site to ensure the sites safety for children to play.
It sounds like WCP will increase traffic on Cross St, is this being factored into the planning?
WSC is working closely with town officials on all aspects of the project, including traffic and safety, and will be conducting an extensive traffic study to determine the potential impact of the project on area traffic. Safety of our members as well as that of the entire community is of utmost concern and all possible options will be considered to alleviate any major traffic impact of WCP. Included in the WCP project is additional parking which will not only support the new fields but also has the potential to provide safer access to Leonard Field, thus improving traffic congestion on Washington Street and its side streets.
How will the project be funded?
Phase I of the project is fully funded and WSC is leading a capital campaign that has already raised significant funds. This ongoing effort will supplement existing WSC capital and la tax-exempt municipal bond supported by the club’s revenue base. Phase II, the addition of the field house, will require additional fund raising.
Will other sports have access to the new fields?
Although WCP will be funded primarily by soccer club revenues, WSC plans to make field space at WCP available to WHS teams and other Winchester youth sports organizations when space is available. Additionally, all sports programs in Winchester will benefit from this field development as it will result in WSC (with more than 1,500+ kids/season) requiring fewer town fields.
When will the project be completed and the fields ready for play?
Phase I of the project will be completed by the end of 2016, and the first full-size field has already been completed and is ready for play (May 2016).
Will the fields be suitable for play year round?
The large fields will be high-quality artificial turf, with lights to increase playing time. In addition, a permanent field house is part of the plans to support indoor play on at least one field all year round.
Who is leading the project?
The project is being managed by the Winchester Community Park Committee and overseen by a Steering Committee. Both are volunteer organizations consisting of several WSC board members and other civic minded Winchester residents with the shared goal of creating new playing fields in town to be used by town residents for decades to come.
How can I help?
As the planning stage quickly develops into the actual design and build stage, WSC will be looking for volunteers to assist in many ways, so if you have a particular area of expertise (fundraising, communications, design, etc) please contact a WSC board member or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you have interest. Also, please consider making a tax deductible donation to the project. As parents register children for WSC programs, an option is available to earmark additional funds for the project. Also, the WSC will have a booth available to answer questions and accept donations at Skilling Field during the 10th Annual Veteran’s Day Tournament from 18-20 November. Donations can also be made by credit card at www.winchestercommunitypark.org, or by mailing a check made out to Winchester Community Park to: Winchester Soccer Club P.O. Box 421 Winchester, MA 01890 If you would like to discuss larger contributions, to include gifting of appreciated stock, please contact Dan Daglio or Joop Grevelink by email email@example.com
Is Winchester Community Park the official name of the park?
WCP is the “working name’ for the project only. Ultimately, the Winchester Community Park Committee anticipates naming rights for both the park, and the individual fields within it, to be granted to large individual or corporate sponsors. To begin a discussion on this, please contact either Dan Daglio or Joop Grevelink.