Waterford group sows dreams in once-neglected field
Folks are restoring an overgrown lot so it can again provide a place for sports teams.

WATERFORD – The ceremony meant more than just golden shovels breaking earth for the group gathered at the old sandlot field Saturday morning.

To the Sandlot Committee, it was the formal beginning of a dream they’ve had to make sports facilities better for children.

The field had been used for many years before a new one was built at Waterford Memorial Elementary School. Since then, it degenerated to an old, overgrown sandy lot.

Sports teams were outgrowing the school playing field, which just wasn’t right for soccer.

Committee members began stumping for support to restore the old sandlot. And they learned that there was support.

At town meeting last March, the committee asked for $5,000. But voters decided that wasn’t enough and gave them $7,500.

Encouraged by the funding, the committee this spring began whacking down the brush, cutting down trees and pulling out the stumps.

They sold the cut wood and raised another $2,500, according to committee member Jeffrey Beebe.

Led by contractor Tom Murch, the field began to take shape.

Beebe said there is still plenty of work to do and money to raise.

He said the $10,000 the committee has will cover a well and will help toward the fencing.

The well will be used for irrigation for the field and the adjacent Pulpit Rock Cemetery.

“It would be good to have a nice backstop, but that alone could cost up to $4,000,” Beebe said. “We need to have perimeter fencing and some type of guard rail between the parking lot and field and between the snowmobile trail and walking path.

“We’d like to have a playground set, but that can run $10,000,” he said. “Then there’s restrooms with flushing toilets and running water, a maintenance shack, a walking track and a snack shack. Overall, if we did everything we wanted to do, we could easily get upwards of $50,000 by the time it was all done.”

But right now the once-overgrown lot is clearer than it was four months ago. The committee has twice as much money as it expected to have and interest in the field seems to be growing.

On this day the Sandlot Committee is one day closer to building the field of its dreams.

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