A Letter From The Loughlin Park Community Concerning The Recently Released Town Of Greenwich Athletic Field Study / Capital Improvement Plan

Submitted by members of the Loughlin Park Community (See list below)

On February 5, 2021, the Town of Greenwich released its Athletic Field Study/Capital Improvement Plan, funded at $75,000, which proposes a comprehensive overhaul to the charming neighborhood park on Loughlin Avenue. The open green space is to be paved over for parking, a concession stand, a stormwater management area, and a baseball sports complex. These recommendations, simply put, would be catastrophic.

Loughlin Park currently welcomes, and is enjoyed by, all Greenwich residents year-round as it stands. This is a walking community and the park has a beautiful open green space where residents, dogs, and children
can be found happily socializing 365 days a year. Loughlin Park currently has two tennis courts, two paddle courts, a baseball field, and a playground coupled with green space, a good balance of organized athletics and spontaneous play. It strikes the perfect balance between open space and organized use, and on any given day welcomes families, dogs, soccer, basketball, baseball, football, tennis, yoga, sledding, and even cross country skiing. Every day, children who do not qualify for bussing, safely walk through the park to the nearby schools of Cos Cob, Central, and Greenwich High. To pave over even a portion of this park, let alone complete the suggested plan, would destroy the park and the neighborhood.
While this plan might seem far off and outlandish, Joseph Siciliano, director of the Greenwich Department of Parks and Recreation, has made it clear, it is something he hopes to implement in the future. Siciliano stated in the Greenwich Time on February 10, 2021, “…it provides the basis for how the town moves forward in terms of providing field space and artificial surfaces moving into the future.” He further states, “the goal would be to take all that information and spend a little more time with consultant to prioritize those concepts and put them in 15-year capital plan for town. So that in any given year during budget prep, we can then review that plan scheduled for that year and see if we want to move forward.”

The vision and concept are wrong. If allowed to remain in the plan, and be implemented, the park would be transformed from a vibrant year-round space that positively impacts the surrounding community, to a blighted one that is paved over, with an exclusionary fence, and utilized by a small fraction of current users for only a couple months of the year.

The plan states “…outdoor recreation needs relate not just to the sports/athletic programs that make use of them, but also to less formal recreational pursuits by individuals not aligned with a specific organization, like the neighborhood kids who seek a pickup game of football, baseball, or soccer within a particular venue or the parents who would like to stroll in the park with their children.” Given this is true, there is absolutely no reason to make any changes to the current park, especially changes of this magnitude, and to a property with an overwhelmingly positive approval rating. This master plan’s vision did not consult enough users of this public property. It failed to ask the input of nearby residents or anyone outside of organized field users and for-profit athletic organizations.

We, as members of the neighborhood, would like it on record that we are opposed to and call for Plans A & B (pgs.61-63) to be stricken. And, should any suggestions be made to our neighborhood or park, in the future, we emphatically state that we, the residents and neighbors, be informed and involved in anything that impacts Loughlin Park.

Francesca Ambrosoni, Regan Avery, Eric Barrow, Lawrence Blucher, Nancy Blucher, Peter Boldt, Victoire Boldt, Suzanne Branch Martin, Dave Carrescia, Lawton Carrescia, Alex Catterick, Mary Celeste Anthes, Virginia Cheney, Matthew Chiavaroli, Veronica Chiavaroli, Christin Cody-O’Brien, Jim Cummings, Andrea Dabeny, Keith Damsky, Sarah Damsky, Chris Day, Lorenzo De Ferrari, Blake Delany, Teresa Delany, Gregory Frisoli, Pamela Frisoli, Sandra Grandinetti, Steve Grandinetti, Karen Halac, Janice Harmeier, David Hays, Maureen Hays, Mercedes Horner, Michele Horner, Thomas Kartanowicz, Linda Kennedy, Patricia Kerr, Tricia Khan, Akshit Kumar, Emily Kunschner, John Kunschner, Jodie LaRocque, Katherine LoBalbo, Terry Lohmeyer, Kris Lowe, Jennifer Lozina, Gillian Marcott, Donald McCormack, Margaret McCormack, Jim McGovern, Julie McGovern, Carl Mecky, Debra Mecky, George Merrill, Janice Merrill, Ariel Meyer, Sean Meyer, Marisa Mingione, Peter Mingione, Dennis O’Brien, David Ornstein, Kim Purcell, Sherri Purcell, Katherine Pushkar, Bret Rattray, Susan  Whalen, Ann Reiten, Barrie Richmond, John Sanna III, Polly Sanna, Aaron Shamshoian, Lindsey Shamshoian, Ann Shifman-Deibler, Pragati Soni, Kay Sterling, Rob Sterling, Christine Surette, Darius Toraby, Faith Toraby, Jules Toraby, Julie Tretiak, Alison Walsh, James Walsh, John Whalen, Susan Rattray, Chris Wilson, Lauren Wilson, Ian Woolven, Gail Zaffino, Joe Zaffino