Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Toro Park sports fields proposal riles area runners

Salinas >> A proposal to add sports fields at Toro Park is pitting youth sports backers against runners of all ages in a face-off over the Monterey County park's future.
Backed by Salinas Girls Fastpitch Softball Inc. and its president Warren Wayland, the proposal being vetted by county parks officials calls for three softball fields along with a combination soccer-football field and ancillary structures in a small portion of the 4,756-acre park.
Wayland, a Salinas political power broker, said the sports fields would offer game and practice space for hundreds of Toro-area youth softball, soccer and football players who asked him to find them more fields.
But leaders of the area's running community, including Mike Dove, the director of training and youth programs at the Big Sur International Marathon, and Olympic marathon runner Blake Russell, have blasted the plans as an inappropriate attempt by private interests to seize control over a much-loved public park used for decades by area cross-country programs.


Ryan said...

Keep Toro Park for cross country!!!!!! It's been used for the CCS Championships and other big invites for years, as well as a training ground for many serious runners with its unique topography. No need to throw some fields in the way of the course. There's plenty of other land in Salinas for them to use.

It would be a shame if this happened. What action can us runners take?

Albert Caruana said...

I think the best you can do is make yourself heard at any meetings that take place to discuss this project.

Anonymous said...

There is a meeting this evening if anyone is interested.
Info here.
The local coaches met with the developer yesterday and expressed our concerns about the cross country course... He listened to those concerns and we will keep you posted as we see how things move along... Several options are being explored to hopefully make it work for everyone involved...
Coach Ibarra

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