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Eyler Park may get more sports fields

(11/28)  The popularity of Thurmont's Catoctin Youth Association sports is growing. With about 350 kids participating in soccer and 325 playing football, Eyler Road Park gets pretty crowded on Saturday mornings.

"Since we have moved the soccer, lacrosse and football fields to that park, there's just not enough field space," said Thurmont Commissioner Wayne Hooper, who serves on the town's Parks and Recreation Commission.

He said the commission wants to make some improvements to the park, including adding some new fields, better parking and additional bathroom facilities.

Space to accommodate all of the teams has quickly become an issue.

"Luckily football was able to use the middle school fields for practice or we'd be in trouble," Hooper said.

There is park property that borders the Evangelical Bible Church that could accommodate two to three fields. Hooper said the ground in that area is fairly flat and could be ready relatively quickly.

"We probably won't be ready for this season, but we're trying to look to do something for the spring," Hooper said.

The commission may also recommend eliminating a road that hasn't been built yet from the park's master plan. This would allow the existing fields to be rearranged to accommodate additional fields.

With more participants in the sports programs, parking has also become an issue. The commission would like to see parking better arranged to allow for more spaces in the parking lots.

Additional usage also means the need for additional bathroom facilities. The park currently uses a few portable bathrooms, which can quickly become inadequate on a Saturday morning.

"We would like to at least get something in the budget this year for bathroom facilities," Hooper said.

The Parks and Recreation Commission will bring its recommendations before the town commissioners to get their approval for the changes.

Thurmont has owned the 48-acre park since the late 1960s.

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