Maple Grove Plans to Install Cricket Field, Neighbors Express Concern
The sport of cricket is on the rise and to meet the growing demand, the city of Maple Grove plans to install the city’s first cricket pitch at Boundary Creek Park. Boundary Creek is known for multi-use athletics fields. But during Thursday’s Maple Grove Park and Recreation meeting, residents expressed concerns around added noise, traffic and parking.
Residents Concerned About Street Parking
Residents say they’re worried about street parking causing traffic because the distance from street parking to the cricket turf is closer compared to Boundary Creek parking lot.
“This increase of parking will create safety hazard for all residents especially children,” said Suzanne Cook.
Others are troubled about the neighborhood park becoming too busy saying families won’t be able to enjoy the park. Some brought up environmental impacts of wildlife. saying installing a 12 by 100 ft. cricket pitch would have.
The city approved the 12 by 100 ft. artificial turf construction in May of 2019. However, the project was put on hold for community input.
Cricket Enthusiasts Address Concerns
The president of the local cricket club, Sandeep Hirekerur, ensured neighbors that cricket team members will not park on the streets nor cause any disturbance.
“That parking lot has 91 parking spots. At any given day, at the most it’ll be 20-25 cars. I don’t understand how the concern for traffic comes in the picture,” said Hirekerur.
City staff says the club intends to use the multi-use field for practices typically two evenings per week and for weekend games. That’s considered light usage compared to other programmed athletic fields.
“Some of the traditional sports are starting to level off and some of the interest of youth is in different areas. It’s our job to follow those trends and encourage people to recreate in the best way they know and can. This is the best way to do that,” explained Chuck Stifter, Maple Grove Parks and Recreation director.
In terms of environmental impacts, planned improvements include adding an artificial turf pitch and relocating a few small trees to create a maintainable and safe space for practice and games.
Cricket enthusiasts say it’s a step toward diversifying sports in the community.
“We are here to feel included,” Hirekerur said. “We are here to help the neighborhoods. We’re not here to cause any trouble, but realize we are here to make things diverse.”
The city voted to proceed with the $40,000 project Thursday. Construction is scheduled to begin in Spring.
- It’s not just Maple Grove that’s considering adding a cricket field. Brooklyn Park is too. Click here for that story.