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New overhaul could turn Simpson Park synthetic, along with other upgrades

Safe! An Old Town run. Old Town businesses beat Del Ray businesses in the third-ever Del Ray vs. Old Town Softball Battle at Simpson Field on June 30, 2021. (Courtesy Elijah Walter Griffin Sr/Griffin Vision Photography)

Among the changes being considered for Eugene Simpson Stadium Park is a refit of the field itself to take it from natural grass and dirt to astroturf.

Park enthusiasts typically have mixed feelings on astroturfing, but the change would make the park more usable in various weather conditions and comes as the city is facing a dire shortage of park space for various sports.

The change is part of a broader plan to upgrade the park, adding new trails across the park space, new bleachers, an expanded parking lot and more. The dog park at the field is also slated to undergo significant renovation, with construction on that project scheduled to start next spring.

The Park and Recreation Commission is scheduled to hold a virtual public hearing on Thursday, Nov. 18, to discuss the option to convert the two Eugene Simpson Stadium Park baseball fields to synthetic turf.