BRONXVILLE, N.Y. – Once upon a time, years ago, Scout Field in Bronxville was a lavish park that was teeming with local athletes and nature lovers enjoying the great outdoors.
In recent years, however, the field has become more synonymous with trash and potholes, with many residents complaining about the political passing of the buck when it came to managing the park.
This is all set to change, after County Executive Rob Astorino announced that the town of Eastchester would assume the daily management of the field, with the county chipping in with a new youth soccer field.
The county has agreed to a $600,000 capital investment that will pay for the new field and improve the irrigation system. Other costs will be paid by the town before it assumes management of the field.
Resident Rich Sheffield said that he believes the time was past due for Scout Field to come under new management.
“Families used to come here, people used to walk on the trails, and it used to be a much more pleasant place to go,” he said. “This sounds like a step in the right direction. I’m happy to hear it.”
Longtime resident Bob Devlin, who said he has frequented the field approximately twice a day for two decades, noted that piles of Gatorade bottles, beer cans and other debris has mounted in certain locations at the field, despite garbage bags that have been supplied by local coaches to prevent such a situation. He added that there is a lack of garbage cans at the facility, and during the summer there are insufficient restrooms, which leads to players and spectators utilizing the nearby woods inappropriately.
“I visit the field, usually twice a day, and having to navigate the treacherous potholes on the long driveway is quite a daunting task. Sometimes I think I’ll need a wheel alignment,” he said. “Just behind the backstop, where a mutilated steel trash can once resided, debris has mounted up to the point where I viewed it as a health hazard.”
The new agreement will see the Town of Eastchester operating Scout Field as a licensee of the county. The town will be responsible for the day-to-day maintenance of the park while Bronxville, and its school district, will continue its usual sports programming.
“Eastchester residents know better than anyone what a true asset Scout Field is for the town,” Town Supervisor Anthony Colavita said while announcing the agreement. “We are happy to step up and make the commitment to operate it, especially since the county is building a new field.”
The field has long been a product of bureaucratic posturing, with officials from the county, town and village each debating who should bear the cost of opaeration. Bronxville Mayor Mary Marvin added that the field is valuable to the village, but the small municipality struggled to afford the day-to-day costs.
Before it becomes official, the agreement needs to be approved by the county Board of Legislators, but Legislator Gordon Burrows – who represents Bronxville – said he doesn’t believe there will be any hold ups.
“We have been trying to get a long-term agreement in place for Scout Field,” he said. “We finally have the right leadership in place to get it done.”