The lightbridge has been in disrepair for a number of years. In 2008, the Field of Dreams board was approached by one of Salem’s boy scouts requesting to make the repair of the lightbridge his project to help him earn his Eagle Scout badge. We now have a working lightbridge that children enjoy once again, and we have Matt Correia to thank for this.
The wooden train that resides in the playground area is heavily used at the park and over time, get worn down. It was in need of repair when Scout Craig Fitzgerald approached the Field of Dreams board with his proposal to repair and paint this train. His effort made the train once more safe for children to play on and we truly appreciated Craig’s effort.
Additional Picnic Tables
Over time, the Field of Dreams has had picnic tables in the picnic area next to the parking lot. And over time, these wooden tables were vandalized, eventually to the point that they became unusable. We replaced these wooden tables with two coated metal tables. In 2008, the Field of Dreams board was approached by Scout Corey Fitzgerald with an offer to install three additional picnic tables as his project to earn his Eagle Scout badge. These picnic tables, also coated metal tables, were installed on the opposite side of the playground. Now parents had a location where they could sit and monitor their child in the playground area.
Once again, the Field of Dreams benefitted from the generous efforts of one Salem’s boy scouts. The volleyball court was in needed of some serious attention – the sand was not contained and washing away, the net was missing, and the poles were in need of being replaced. We were approached by Christian Getchell with a proposal to rebuild the volleyball court as his project to earn his Eagle Scout badge. He did so successfully and we are now able to have tournaments or pick-up games as needed.
In 2007, we were approached by Comcast asking what they could do to help out the Field of Dreams as part of their Comcast Cares Day. After discussion, we settled on having them come in to paint the playground structure. With dozens of volunteers, and lots of painting supplies, they not only painted the structure, but also the benches in the park. They brought in a bucket truck which enabled them to reach the tops of the towers. They even discovered the wooden tree that was built into the structure on the side near the brick walkway.
In 2011, we were once again approached by Comcast seeking out a project that they could help with. It was decided that they would help with the resurfacing of the playground. The Field of Dreams ordered the mulch that was needed. The Comcast volunteers supplied everything else – wheelbarrows, shovels, small tractor, etc. The project was completed over two days. On Friday, the 30+ Comcast volunteers removed the current surfacing and used it to fill in some of the washout that occurs in the park as well as cover the trails in the woods. On Saturday, over 100 volunteers came to spread the new mulch over the playground. It was completed successfully due to some fantastic teamwork!
The Fitness Trail was part of the initial construction of the park and playground. The exercise equipment and trail was donated by the Salem/Methuen Rotary Club. Unfortunately, the equipment has been vandalized over time and now has to be replaced. We are working with the Ingram Senior Center and the Council on Aging as they make plans to build an exercise trail from their location. Their trail will come through the woods toward Geremonty Drive. Our trail is at the front of the park on Geremonty Drive. We will coordinate the trails to enable participants to easily have access to both.
This past spring another one of Salem’s boy scouts approached the Field of Dreams board with a project proposal that would help him earn his Eagle Scout badge. This project would include the repair of some of the playground equipment. It has not yet been scheduled. More information will be provided as it becomes available.
The stage has been heavily used over the years and is showing the wear and tear. There have also been some questions/concerns about enclosing the structure. During our Summer Concert Series, there is always a chance of the weather having an effect on the schedule. If it rains or there is a threat of a storm, we have to cancel the concert. With a roof over the stage, the band members would be protected from a sudden shower as would their equipment. We will be working on a campaign to raise the funds for the rebuilding of the stage which would include the covering/roof.
The playground structure is 20 years old this year. As with everything else, the codes that were in place when this structure was constructed have changed. In order to comply with these changes, we have had the structure inspected yearly and addressed the needs as they arise. Our long-term vision is that one day we will have to address the concerns by rebuilding the playground to meet the current codes. This will also require a campaign for fund-raising.