The people have spoken: No organized sports on the grass field

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Update September 28, 2011

By Steven Greer, MD

The Parks Conservancy is now aerating the field and placing barrier fences to rest trampled areas of the lawn.


Update: September 16, 2011

Since our notes from September 14, a coach for the Downtown Soccer League, John Chow, said that the BPCA has been in talks with them and that they, “Will not be using the field after this week.”. The Principal from PS 276 was very responsive, and she informed her staff and after school programs partners about the tenuous status of the field. Also, the Parks Conservancy aerated the field on the 15th.

If you see organized soccer being played on the field, particularly by adults as we saw last year, the local PEPs should be called at once, (212) 417-3100, or email us

Update September 14, 2011

By Steven Greer

Shortly after opening, the grass field is being allowed by the Battery Park City Parks Conservancy to be used in ways that the local residents do not want to see it used (see survey results below). Namely, the Downtown Soccer League organization is bringing groups of 30 or more children to play organized soccer and baseball. The parks staff is also failing to close the field as needed to allow for grass renewal.

As a result, portions of the grass field have already been trampled to death (see photos at bottom). The most recent community board meeting addressed these issues, but no conclusions or final rules were made. Moreover, at the meeting, The BPCA announced that they are still refusing to assign Battery Park PEP to patrol the area.

July 1, 2011

BatteryPark.TV recently conducted a survey of local residents asking thier opinion on how the newly sodded grass field in the West Thames Park should be used when it re-opens soon. Recall, the first attempt last year resulted in a mud field as soccer teams trampled the turf.

The survey will be discussed at an upcoming CB1 meeting. The results of the survey are as follows:

Question #1: Should organized soccer with 7 or more people be allowed on the new grass field of West Thames Park?

Yes: 22%
No : 78%

Question #2: Should organized baseball of more than 3 people be allowed on the grass field?

Yes: 39%
No: 61%

Question #3: Should the Parks Conservancy close the grass field as needed in order to protect the grass, in the same manner they do the other surrounding lawns?

Yes: 78%
No: 22%

Comments: How would you like to see the new grass field optimally used?

· Picnics, lounging, sleeping, resting, etc.
· like the great lawn in Central Park
· small family groups having picnics and playing games with their children…and no danger to passersby and people sitting at the tables on the southern edge from flying projectiles!!!
· As a tennis court or something that better fits the demographic of the area. Basketball is fine for men between 15 and 25: and we have so many courts, but it’s so obviously not the correct choice for BPC. CB1’s Battery Park City Committee was wrong on this choice for our community.
· picnics, sunbathing, decorative area
· Informally by local residents but without organized sports activity which will tend to destroy the grass
· while I would like the grass to look beautiful, I object to the conservancy’s attempt to take away traditional usage of the grass in order to create much finer manicured gardens. While we all want something beautiful to look at – – we all need somewhere to play with our children and our pets. It seems difficult for the conservancy to compromise their lovely plans in order to take into consideration the resident’s feelings that they need lawns downtown similar to Central Park where we can lounge, etc.
· Picnics, just sitting
· passive, low intensity recreation eg Frisbee, informal ball toss, etc
· For parents to spend time with their children teaching them to play ball or young kids playing together. I don’t have children and I play soccer but the grass cannot survive the traffic and the neighborhood would suffer. I would love to use the space but I can play soccer on either of the piers to the north. Everyone who walks from the trains walks by the field and if it were a mud hole like before that makes it unpleasant.
· They should invest in putting an artificial grass field instead of natural grass, like the one at Pier 25.
· Picnic type and enjoyment of the grass and park area for BPC residents.
· As a place for non-organized activities
· Full blown Recreational field. Astroturf and a track around it that could host events.

Photo prior to the field opening in 2011

Photo on September 14 of significant damage to field

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One Response to The people have spoken: No organized sports on the grass field

  1. Bob Williams says:

    I am amazed that people are against using an open space for recreation.

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