Weymouth, MA – On Friday, September 14th, 2018, Mayor Robert Hedlund will join with Principal Kathy Guilfoy, Recreation Director Steve Reilly, and students from the Lawrence W. Pingree Primary School in a special dedication event to celebrate the completion and revitalization of Weymouth’s Lovell Field. Mayor Hedlund will unveil a new plaque to commemorate the history of the park and celebrate its transformation into one the South Shore’s premier outdoor recreational facilities.
Lovell Field is a 14.8-acre, multi-recreational use park located in the heart of East Weymouth’s Jackson Square and adjacent to the Pingree Primary School. Between 2017 and 2018, the park underwent $6.45 million in renovations to enhance its active and passive recreational amenities, add a new connection and destination to Weymouth’s Back River Trail, and support revitalization of the public park, as well as the wider village center.
Improvements at Lovell Field include two regulation-size, artificial-turf soccer fields, one half-size turf field for soccer practices, nearly a mile of looped walking paths, an expanded playground with accessible ramps, and a 1,400-square-foot comfort building with restrooms, concession space, and an overhang for gatherings. In addition, the park now has a dedicated entrance for vehicular and pedestrian access off Broad Street, two parking areas with approximately 180 spaces, and an LED sports lighting system to support evening programming.
Lovell Field is the flagship park of a $11.4 million capital investment by the Town to improve more than a dozen playing fields and other recreational facilities throughout the community. These projects were spearheaded by Mayor Hedlund, with unanimous support from the Town Council for funding.
The Town’s parks improvement program was undertaken without any need for a debt exclusion or tax override, as was originally proposed for Lovell Field prior to Mayor Hedlund taking office. Plans to improve the park had stalled by 2016 due to uncertainties surrounding the project’s funding and permitting. The project was revived through the efforts of Mayor Hedlund and his staff to reduce the park’s construction cost and to address the concerns of the Town’s Conservation Commission about installing artificial turf too close to the Herring Brook. A responsible borrowing strategy was then developed by the Mayor’s Chief of Staff to fund not only the renovation of Lovell Field but also sweeping improvements to Weymouth’s broader open space infrastructure, including Libby Field and Weston Park.
Since opening Lovell Field for tournament play in November 2017, and later league games in April 2018, the new park has hosted five weekend tournaments, approximately 90 individual matchups, and an estimated 2,700 players.