Provinces youth leader yearns for home playing fields


At the change of every season, Bob Rosencrance has to supervise, coordinate and rejigger the schedules of more than 400 energetic children who play youth sports on only five fields in and around Provinces.

Life should get a little easier for Mr. Rosencrance, president of the Jessup-Provinces Youth Organization, when work is completed on Provinces Park off Disney Road. The park would provide more playing fields for football, soccer, lacrosse and baseball.

"We definitely need it," said Mr. Rosencrance, 34, of Harmans. "Every year we get more kids, and new development is being built all over the place. We are pressed for fields. It would be nice to open up more."

County public works officials recently requested bids from local contractors to help clear most of the 45-acre wooded lot and build a community park, said Jay Cuccia, spokesman for the Department of Parks and Recreation.

The department will accept bids next month, but Mr. Cuccia said no timetable is set to begin construction.

Mr. Cuccia said the park is to include three multipurpose fields for football, soccer and lacrosse; three tennis courts; two baseball diamonds; a basketball court; a playground; and a walking trail encircling the park.

Until work on the park is completed, Mr. Rosencrance's organization must juggle the schedules of several soccer teams on a field off Montevideo Road in Jessup and another at the Jessup Elementary School.

About 250 players battle for time on two baseball diamonds at the Montevideo fields, and 180 young sters play an entire lacrosse season on one field at MacArthur Middle School in Fort Meade.

The county bought the land for the planned park in 1988 from the National Wildlife Federation Foundation for $579,300, Mr. Cuccia said.

The entire project is estimated to cost $3 million.

Although most of the land will be cleared of trees, Mr. Cuccia said the walking trail would wind through vegetation to "add naturalness" to the area.

Mr. Cuccia said the county decided to convert the land into a park because of a population spurt in Provinces and surrounding areas.

Census records show that about 3,500 people live in 1,300 homes in Provinces.

"There is a real need for additional recreational space in the western county," he said. "We're trying to increase our services there. It'll be another opportunity for recreational services for people to take their children there."

For Mr. Rosencrance, the park would provide playing fields close enough to home so "that the kids can walk to it."

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