August 13, 2019 11:00 PM
(ABC 6 News) - Hundreds of area runners were "doing a victory lap" on Tuesday. That’s because after months of passionate campaigning, "Save the Track" members saw their hard work pay off.
Back in March, the Rochester Parks & Recreation Department received funding for Soldiers Field Park. Board members decided the areas of focus would be the parking lot and the track; which has been around for 90 years.
At that time, the board was looking at paving the track with asphalt. That’s when a group of runners united, forming the "Save the Track" group which now consists of nearly 900 members.
“Issues with asphalt really come down to that it is damaging to runners,” said Cindy Morgan, a Save the Track committee member. “Yeah we run on it when running long distances but that’s not without impact and not without injury or at least a high risk of injury after a while. [Paving it would] inappropriately put food trucks and events like Rochesterfest over the fitness community."
Save the Track members called for a softer blend of materials; like what's currently on the track, be used instead. The loose clay product is similar to what you might find on a baseball field. On Tuesday, the Park Board went ahead with this option.
“We know that it requires a little bit more maintenance and it will require a lot of attention and detail when we rebuild the track, but we are looking forward to having that as the surface that will suit the needs of runners and the events that we want to have down there,” said Paul Wideman, the Director of Rochester Parks & Rec.
The $295,000 that would have been spent on paving the track will now go towards the new material. If upgrades cost more than the funding allotted, the Save the Track group has agreed to do some fundraising.
Part of the agreement is to have the track ready by the summer of 2020.
Created: August 13, 2019 11:00 PM
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