Open Space Committee: We Need Playing Field Inventory

catalpa signs

Resident furor over a proposal to build an active recreation park on the Catalpa farm property, as well as other park-related controversies, prompted the township’s Open Space Advisory Committee to ask for an inventory of all playing fields in Franklin.

Saying it would help them when reviewing future park development plans, members of the township’s Open Space Advisory Committee Nov. 18 asked for a complete inventory of Franklin’s playing fields.

The request to the Township Council was the idea of member Arnold Schmidt, who said he was asking it in anticipation of new and old park requests coming before the committee to review.

Schmidt said the committee needs a complete inventory of fields used to play soccer, football and cricket “so when we review the new Catalpa plan and any other plan, we know what we need.”

A plan to build an active recreation park on the land of the old Catalpa farm drew criticism from neighbors, who said the use was too intense for the site. The plan was eventually sent back to the township’s engineer for review and retooling.

Schmidt said the inventory also needs to include those soccer fields that are being rested for a year to rejuvenate.

“We need to know what fields can’t be used for a year,” he said.

He said the inventory should also include how many teams are fielded in each sport, and where they play.

A final aspect of the inventory should be a discussion of what county and Board of Education-owned fields are available to the township, Schmidt said.

Committee chairman Randy Jones said he hoped the report could be finished in January 2015.

“This is a good motion, because at some point I’m sure the township is going to come to this committee to fund more fields,” committee member Bob Mettler said.

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