By Devin Rose
Park district staff members are still working to put together a comprehensive field study detailing the use and conditions of all their playing fields since receiving a request a year ago for a turf field at Taylor Park.
Matt Ellmann, the park district's superintendent of recreation, said the study is meant to be a living document that the board can use in the long term to assess the future of each of the district's fields. The suggestion to create a master plan for the whole park system was mentioned at a meeting last December when a representative from AYSO requested a multipurpose turf field at Taylor Park.
Ellmann said staff is looking at the existing conditions on each field, whether they are used recreationally or competitively and whether they are used for one activity or many. They've visited each site in the summer and fall and are reviewing each one's master plan, Ellmann said.
They're also looking at the scheduling of events and permitting hours to be able to eventually make cost estimates for field improvements. Board Treasurer Paul Aeschleman pointed out the permitting hours might not accurately predict how often the fields are being used. Board President Christine Graves suggested getting participant numbers from affiliate groups.
Summaries and recommendations still need to be put together to decide if and where synthetic playing fields would make the most sense, and whether there is enough field space to meet demands, Ellmann said. Recommendations are expected to be presented to the board in January.