by Lisa Tome
Less than a year after the official groundbreaking ceremony, Calvert's Regional Park project is coming to fruition.
By mid-October, the park will be host to tournament play.
According to Clyde Van Dyke, County Director of Parks and Recreation, who has been working on the site during construction, 75 percent of the first phase of work is completed.
That means that the synthetic turf field is ready for use, bleachers will be delivered this week, the parking lot will be paved in early October, and the basketball court will be finished by the middle of that month.
The synthetic turf field is the first with that surface in the county. That field can be used for football, soccer, field hockey, lacrosse, and rugby. Two more multi-purpose fields have been sodded. Four more fields will get that treatment in the coming weeks.
The park will host a college showcase for boys lacrosse on October 17-18. That event is expected to bring 15 teams, approximately 800-1,000 people to the park. "We're starting small," said Van Dyke. The park is also booked for tournament events October 31- November 1 and November 7-8. "Mid-October through November is very busy," he said.
"We're excited. I am anxious for the kids to get on these fields and put them to use," Van Dyke said. "This was a long-term vision and we're grateful to get it done."
A ribbon cutting has been tentatively set for early October.
The 112-acre park is located near the intersection of Routes 272/273 on what was formerly farm land. County funds have paid for the park. The state chipped in $125,000. The project also received $346,000 from the State's Program Open Space Funding.
In the long-term for Calvert's Regional Park, annual revenue is anticipated to be $77,000 to be generated from field usage. With that number in mind, the park would be paid off after seven years. VanDyke said that the location of the park is ideal. "We are 50 minutes from Baltimore and 50 minutes from Philly. We are 40 minutes from Lancaster (which recently became home to USA field hockey)."
While the fields may be reserved for league play, Van Dyke explained that some parts of the park will always be open to the public - the paved walking trail, basketball court, and playground.