athletic fields

Agricultural and Equestrian Center to Feature Athletic Fields

The six-year-old stands ready with bat slung over shoulder, helmet firmly in place. The ball flies toward home base and the child swings as if it’s the bottom of the ninth in the World Series.

Maybe the ball makes it to the outfield, more likely it lands halfway to the pitcher. What matters most is playing the game. Whether it’s baseball, soccer, football, Lacrosse, sports provide not only a source of fun for the whole family but also crucial life lessons for the young players.

The proposed Agricultural and Equestrian Center would feature four athletic fields allowing for ample playing time for a variety of youth and adult teams. These fields would give the town more flexibility in scheduling and provide additional opportunities for local sports. The center off I-84 near the Connecticut border would be easily accessible to local and visiting teams.

The fields are a priority for the Center because of the benefits of athletics, especially for youth, and the needs of the town. Children involved in sports embrace an active, healthy lifestyle. They learn to challenge themselves and strive to reach goals. They discover how teamwork makes difference as they develop communication skills and build lasting friendships.

The fields would center around a covered pavilion and include a snack bar stocked and run by teams along with comfortable restrooms. They would be managed by the town allowing for local input. They would be designed to allow multiple sports, increasing the ability of the town to respond to the shifting needs of local teams. 

The athletic fields would be just one part of a state-of-the-art complex expected to provide a wealth of community benefits and activities to bring people together. Festival grounds would be open for a variety of events such as fairs or farmer’s markets. Visitors could hike more than two miles of nature trails featuring educational signage and habitat activities.

open house

In addition to sports teams, there would be amenities for local clubs such as the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, 4-H, and Future Farmers of America.

This unique expansion of Sturbridge’s recreational space, athletic fields, and open space could move forward with the approval of an Overlay District on Oct. 28th. 

The Overlay District would outline the additional zoning to allow for the Sturbridge Agricultural and Equestrian Center. It would specify what is and is not allowed on the property. 

The approval of the overlay district is one step in involving the community in the future of the project. Along the way, the community will retain control and continue to have a say in what happens. 

If the Overlay District is approved, the planning for the athletic fields in partnership with the community will continue.

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