Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Tom Finn's email re. Durant Park

To Whom it may concern:
Last night we (The South Buffalo Soccer Club) were forced to cancel the games at Durant Playground because there were 3-5 inch tiretracks all over the field. This act of vandalism actually put me over the edge. They ruin the nets regularly but we diligently repair or replace them to show them that they won't win the battle for control of the playground. I was called to the field last night because the tracks and divots ruined the field to the point where it is unusable. They ruined the nets with the vehicles to the point where they cannot be repaired with our limited resources. I have personally picked up the portapotty 6 times. On one occasion the 12-15 people on the park benches laughed at me and one person told me not to waste my time, they would just knock it down once I left. Sure enough, I drove past 5 minutes later and it was on it's side again.
We regularly remove the dog droppings off the field as the nieghbors don't feel it is their job to do so. Sometimes there are as many as 20 piles of droppings on the field. There is no pride left in the neighborhood.
The one negative thing I find with the county work crews was that the field was lined well, but someone must have noticed the tracks on the field but we were never notified. It would not have made much difference, we still would have made the same decision to cancel the games but it would have been helpful to hear about the vandalism when it was first noticed. In the future you can tell the crew that it is not necessary to line the field anymore. It will not be used by us.
Moving forward, we are forced to move to the Casino field in Cazenovia Park and Southside School. I hate to give up on the Durant Field because Mike Blake worked hard to have the soccer goals put there many years ago, but I should not have to fear for my safety when I ask a group of kids to stop swearing around the children. I don't feel comfortable there anymore.
I would like to request that the beat up portapotty at Durant Playground be moved to Southside School. There is a portapotty at the playground but the 4-5 year olds have a difficult time reaching the playground "in time". If it could be put near the entrance to the track, it would be great. Thanks to Tim Kennedy for getting the portapotties at the other fields! There are a lot less complaints this year!
I asked Mr Hornung if there is any greenspace available in South Buffalo that we can utilize to make more soccer fields. Maybe you can give me some ideas? The sport continues to grow and I'd like to be able to limit the field abuse by using more fields. Every year we have a conflict with the South Buffalo Football league because we both need Hillary Park. I would love to have the luxury of not needing to use those fields after Aug 1 but there aren't any extra fields around.
I would also like to take this opportunity to humbly ask for some funding in the future. The goalposts at Potter Rd, Tennis Courts, and Behind Tosh Collins are all anchored in the ground. I would like to purchase some semi-portable goals so we can move the lines each year a bit so the goal areas have a chance to grow grass. Each year we plant grass or lay sod in the goal areas but it never lasts because the field is used everyday and gets worn out usually before the season is underway. I'm sure Mr Hornung can give me 50 other reasons for the grass not growing but I think the time has come for some real goalposts. Thank you to Mickey Kearns for helping last year when our goals were stolen for scrap metal last year and to Mr Hornung for putting me in contact with another organization that had an extra set of goals. With the goals at Hillary, we are able to move the field each year and the fields remain in good condition. I hope to be able to do that on all fields.
Thank you for your time and please let me know if you are willing to help!
Tom Finn
South Buffalo Soccer Club


  1. I thought this was a good email. Tom has worked very hard to get the players out onto the fields and is understandably frustrated. The secondary parks are a mess. The teenagers, young adults, and neighbors with dogs at Durant Park are destroying the park and the atmosphere at the park. The basketball court has been a magnet for criminals. I just hope some crazy blogger doesn't go over there at 2AM and tear down the hoops. That would be such a tragedy.

  2. this email was a good read but durant has always been a dirty park as long ive been alive and im 24. theres many men and women who want to make south buffalo a better place but theres many more people that dont give a shit, especially in that part of south buffalo. ya mine as well call it the south west side with all the puerto rican flags flying. since nobody in that neighborhood cares why dont we turn the park into an urban farm cover the whole thing in horse manuer and just leave it like that and say the funds ran out because of budget cuts. then they can use it for their puerto rican day celebrations, birthday parties, quinceneras and cinco de mayo is right around the corner.

  3. mike your like the rudy and randy pekacznski of south buffalo in one person, without the cool hair.