Solving our Playing Space Shortage: Lighting for Chase and Freedom Field for CYBSA

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Summary

This petition seeks the approval of the Select Board of the Town of Cohasset to install self-funded, state of the art LED lighting on two of our ballfields. We seek this permission because we have long ago outgrown our facilities, and need more play and practice time.

As discussed below, the impact on our families has grown more adverse each year. This petition does not seek public funding, rather permission to improve our facility. Additionally, we reiterate our longstanding commitment to being good neighbors in both the installation and usage of the lighting.

Background

Cohasset is a beautiful community full of many wonderful amenities. One of these is our youth baseball and softball facility, Barnes Complex. Barnes Complex consists of one upper field, "Barnes Field", and two lower fields, set further away from North Main Street: "Chase Field" and "Freedom Field".

Cohasset’s population has grown. So are the ranks of the Cohasset Youth Baseball and Softball Association. CYBSA is home to our Little League Baseball and youth softball programs.

The boys and girls of CYBSA range from age 3 to 18, and our enrollment continues to grow! We’re up 12% since 2018 to 410 participants this spring, with registration still open, with over 100 volunteers ready to make 2021 a reality.

Increasingly we are plagued by inadequate playing space for our children. We have only two Little League baseball fields, and a single softball field (for all ages of play) in town.

Compared to our neighbors (Hingham, Hull, Norwell and Scituate), Cohasset by far has the least field capacity. And physical expansion is not a foreseeable option.

Increasingly, we have had to eliminate practice time and schedule our “home” intra-town games at the away fields. We often travel as far as Canton for "home" games, and in recent years have rented Hull’s fields for spring, “in-town” games. This occurs even when the New England weather cooperates.

The routine schedule shuffling and scrambling for space has been disruptive to the typical CYBSA family, which has multiple children in our programs and a dedicated parent volunteer. 

We need to leverage our modest footprint to accommodate more play and practice for our children! We wish to install privately funded, state of the art LED lighting on Chase and Freedom fields. These are the same quality of lights installed not only in college and professional facilities, but in our neighboring towns.

Our neighboring towns, in addition to having more field space, ALL have some form of lighting for youth baseball and/or softball.

CYBSA is a longstanding fixture and partner of the community, and will continue to do our part fostering Cohasset’s rich quality of life. We devote countless volunteer hours to the upkeep of the complex, making the most of all our resources.

Cohasset faces other challenges with respect to its growing population and finite recreation facilities. Expanding play-time of our limited fields, and engaging our youth in the evenings with healthy, enjoyable activities directly addresses that challenge.

Importantly, we as petitioners support this project in its minimal impact on the neighborhood. This petition does not request permission to light Barnes field, which is in close proximity to North Main Street. We do not support eventual lighting of Barnes field; only the Chase and Freedom fields (the lower fields, further set back from the street).

We ask the Select Board to permit us to bring our facilities up to par to properly serve our families and children. Thank you for your consideration!