The grass is greener on the Durant Recreation Center’s playing field these days, thanks to a $ 200,000 reseeding program recently completed by the Durant Recreation and Park Department.

But more than a few disgruntled neighbors have been wondering why the field, located at Park and Lincoln streets, is still off limits, even though the new grass has grown in.

Joshua Strickland, the groundskeeper at Durant, explains that the playing field must remain fenced off until at least next spring, so that the root system in the area, which was replanted from June to November, can fully develop.

“In the long run, the neighbors will have a much better field to play on,” he notes, adding that “they are in agreement about this, and even helped put up the fence to protect the new grass”.

According to Durant Rec Center Director Brian J. Brown, keeping sports enthusiasts and others off the playing field is a constant effort. “I recently saw someone playing golf there,” he says, “and I had to throw him out.”

Dog owners, however, have been the most frequent violators of the new rules.

“Dog owners seem to be the most upset,” Brown adds, even though Durant “is not an established dog run area”.

Brown directs dog walkers to Victoria Park, St. Angelika Park, or the upper level of Emery Park —the three closest official dog exercise areas.

The project, which included hydroseeding and the installation of automatic sprinklers and drainage pipes, was funded with Open Space funds administered by the Recreation and Park Department.

“A lot of money was spent” to improve the playing field, says Strickland. “Let’s just hope the public thinks it’s worth waiting for.”

The Durant Recreation Center also includes a gymnasium, a kitchen, an auditorium, basketball and tennis courts, and a children’s playground. It is staffed on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sundays from noon to 6 p.m.

To find out about legal indoor and outdoor activities, call at the office. But until further notice, please stay off the grass.