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Posted on: March 18, 2022

Mayor Gove Calls on Governor Baker to Release Funds for Soccer Fields

Kids playing soccer on a field

Mayor Gove recently sent a formal request to Governor Baker to release $600,000 in funding set aside in the FY14 Environmental Bond Bill, and re-authorized in 2018, to support soccer fields in Amesbury. Mayor Gove is committed to improving our athletic fields and started with our diamond fields. Our next focus is rectangular fields, and this funding would allow us to break ground on construction to rebuild the fields.  

Despite sending a complete packet of information regarding this request, we have been unable to make headway on having the funding released. We included:

Now we need your help!

Please call, email or tweet to Governor Baker and Secretary Theoharides on this matter. Let them know how important this funding is for our community. Feel free to pull quotes from Mayor Gove’s letter below as talking points. 

Call

Governor Baker
 (617) 725-4005

Secretary Kathleen Theoharides
 Exec. Office of Energy & Environmental Affairs
(617) 626-1000
Email

Email Governor Baker's Office

Email the Exec. Office of Energy & Environmental Affairs
Tweet

(copy and paste)

We respectfully request that @MassGovernor release the $600,000 set aside in the FY14 Environmental Bond Bill (re-auth in 2018) for soccer fields in @CityofAmesbury! Please help, @EEASecretary. This funding will let us break ground. @MassEEA #AmesburyGoals #FieldsForKids

The @CityofAmesbury is diligently working to improve our athletic fields, and we need @MassGovernor to release the $600,000 set aside in the FY14 Environmental Bond Bill (re-auth in 2018) for soccer fields in Amesbury! @EEASecretary @MassEEA #AmesburyGoals #FieldsForKids 

.@CityofAmesbury desperately needs updated rectangular fields to better serve our community and youth sports. @MassGovernor, please release the $600,000 set aside in the FY14 Environmental Bond Bill (re-auth in 2018). @EEASecretary @MassEEA #AmesburyGoals #FieldsForKids


Images to Use

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IMG_54631
The soccer field at Cashman School has many bare spots due to overuse. This field is used by Amesbury High School boys' and girls' soccer teams and Amesbury Soccer Association Grade 7/8 boys' and girls' teams in the fall. In the spring this field is used by Amesbury High School lacrosse team, Amesbury Youth Lacrosse, and Amesbury Soccer Association Grade 7/8 boys' and girls' teams.
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Woodsom 2016
Youth teams play on inadequate fields with bare spots due to overuse.
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20191030_170817
Soccer fields at Woodsom Farm are dependent on rain for irrigation. During dry periods significant portions of grass brown and die. 


February 18, 2022 

Governor Charlie Baker 
Massachusetts State House 
24 Beacon Street 
Boston, MA 02133 

Dear Governor Baker,

I am writing to formally request the release of $600,000 in funding set aside in the FY2014 Environmental Bond Bill and re-authorized in 2018 for rectangular fields in Amesbury.

This funding has been earmarked and approved by the appropriate committees, and just awaits your signature. Now is the ideal time to release those funds. The Commonwealth is currently experiencing a surplus, and this project is approved and shovel ready. We just need funding to be able to break ground. We have additional local funding committed once the state funding is released.

The COVID-19 pandemic showed us how important outdoor spaces and recreation are for our communities. These spaces are also crucial for our growth as a community, helping us strengthen our value proposition and attract new residents. As part of our ongoing I AMesbury 2030 master planning process, we have collected data and feedback from our residents which told us that 93% of our residents believe that open spaces and recreation areas are vitally important to our community and play a large role in why they chose to live here and/or what they enjoy about living here. 

The Amesbury Soccer Association has been an important partner in our community for more than 20 years. For nearly that entire time they have struggled with having the proper fields, in number and related to maintenance. They are not the only athletic organization to struggle with this issue. In the last two years our community has seen public and private developments which have impacted the availability of athletic fields in Amesbury, and as a result, the ASA’s Grade 3 & 4 Travel Teams played their entire season away from Amesbury. 

We have been working diligently to improve our athletic fields and will have new and improved diamond fields completed this spring. Our next focus is on our rectangular fields and will serve many of our athletic leagues including soccer and lacrosse. These leagues continue to grow year over year and need dedicated fields to support their missions.

As a City, we are committed to working with all of our athletic leagues to provide as many opportunities to our community as possible. We are working to balance these opportunities with creating ongoing maintenance and operations plans to ensure that our spaces are being properly utilized and taken care of. To do this, we need to invest in our recreation areas so we can move forward together with a solid foundation. 

The $600,000 in funding is crucial to help us complete this much-needed project. Thank you for you consideration in releasing these funds as soon as possible.

Sincerely,
Kassandra Gove
Mayor


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