A youth baseball field in Vermont’s Windsor County, which was modeled after Fenway Park in Boston, is rebuilding following damaging flash flooding last week.
“It’s unfathomable,” Terry O’Brien of the Cavendish Recreation Department said of the water that ripped through Cavendish’s Greven Field April 15. “The power—it’s immense.”
Runaway water from the Black River, swollen by heavy rain and melting snow at the time, washed out the clay from the base paths, dumped silt in center field, left debris everywhere, and knocked down a fence.
Now, the southern Vermont ballpark that has a miniature version of Fenway’s Green Monster is aiming to salvage the season for the many families who enjoy youth baseball games and other community events at the field.
“The friendships you develop through coaching and playing with your kids’ parents—you meet them, and lifelong friends; just like that,” O’Brien said, then agreeing with a reporter’s observation that the flood couldn’t undo such a bond. “Never. If anything, it strengthens it.”
On the mini Green Monster, you can see just how high the water was—just above the knee for a man of average height.
While things may look pretty bad now, O’Brien pointed out it was far worse in 2011 after Tropical Storm Irene, which destroyed the field.
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“This was rubble,” he recalled.
Donations of goods and labor, and a big gift from the Red Sox Foundation, helped rebuild it then.
Cavendish’s town manager, Brendan McNamara, said once again, volunteers are promising to pitch in to restore Greven Field. Several cleanup days have already been scheduled.
“It’s all hands on deck at this point,” McNamara told necn. “I have no doubt the community’s going to rally, and we’re going to get the kids back on the field ASAP.”
To borrow a movie line, Greven Field is Cavendish’s “field of dreams,” Terry O’Brien said. “‘Build it and they will come,’” he quoted.