Dear Mr. Black:
I have learned, and am appalled, that your committee is considering converting the Groton Fairgrounds to a “multiuse facility” that will include various playing fields. I urge you to abandoned this idea.
The fairground is the only area in many miles that children and adults can use for training their horses and ponies unless they are so fortunate as to have an arena at home or have the wealth to use a private arena. Adding other sports to this beautiful area presents significant hazards to riders in that crashing balls and sticks and running, screaming players and fans can and will cause serious injuries to equestrians. Additionally, playing fields are frequently treated with pesticides often without local authorities even being informed. Children and other animals can be made extremely ill by contact with these poisons. Runoff from the fields into the wetlands produce their own well-documented problems.
Although I am not a resident of Groton, I am a direct descendant of Richard Sawtelle, Groton’s first selectman. Groton was and is certainly a focal point for many wonderful horse activities and I hope you will continue to keep it so.