Watch CBS News

Drought has sports fields across the state 'pretty burnt out right now,' raising safety concerns

Athletic fields dried up as a result of drought
Athletic fields dried up as a result of drought 02:22

IPSWICH - It's not just our flowers and lawns drying up in the drought. The drought is taking a toll on sports fields - turning grass into dust.

Football practice is underway in Ipswich, and the conditions are very dry. Normally this time of year the field is lush and green but now it's barely even playable.

The impact of the drought can be seen just about everywhere in town. 

"it's just been kind of like dead," Ipswich High student athlete Owen Hathaway said. "There's some green plants around, but overall it's not very lush like it once was."

From Holliston to Wenham to Danvers and Ipswich, so many of the schools' playing fields are completely dried out.

"It's crazy how like dry all the fields are around here," Devin Ireland, of Wenham, said. "It's not just like a couple fields."

The statewide drought has forced many towns and cities to issue water bans, which means baseball, football and soccer fields look more like fields of sand.

Ipswich Athletic Director Tom Gallagher says the school has a turf field but it's not enough space to take care of all the sports teams, which means more damage could be done to the grass fields. 

"As you can see our fields are pretty burnt out right now," Gallagher said. "All of our fields have suffered - town fields, school fields, everything at this point."

Hathaway knows he has to be careful when the field conditions are this poor.

"You could fall. . the dirt is a lot softer," he said. "You could get stuck, you could slip."

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.