Page One

Playing field management needs some work

Carolyn Sell
Friday October 11, 2002

To the Editor: 


In response to Doug Fielding’s comment about needing to develop more playing fields, hooray for the Berkeley City Council if they are delaying a commitment in order to resolve these issues. 

The current ball field use is highly mismanaged. Berkeley parks and rec told me they only had five playing fields available for little league games this summer, when in fact their own Web site lists 10 such fields. A number of them were empty all summer while others, such as Ohlone Park field – which has a no-league-play policy – was way overbooked, destroying the quality of life in the surrounding neighborhood. 

Berkeley is an over-built city and there is a limit to the number of ballparks this town can hold. If there is money available as Mr. Fielding suggests, why isn’t parks and rec making use of its friendly partnership with the school district and developing better fields on school sites? The space is already there and marked for team sports. Schools such as Malcolm X with a shameful excuse for a ball field would greatly benefit. 

Nobody is minding the store. Today in Ohlone Park, there was organized (league) football in the soccer field and soccer in the softball field. Nobody uses the volleyball court because volleyball players do not play on asphalt. They bring their own nets and set up in grassy areas. What the City Council needs to do is have an audit of the use and misuse of parks in this city. They would be shocked. 


Carolyn Sell