Celebrating the Grand Opening! / Fallon Sports Complex Phase 2
The City of Dublin celebrated the Grand Opening of Fallon Sports Complex Phase 2 on March 24 during on and off rain showers. The $14 million development, which began in 2013, includes: a 90’ lighted natural turf baseball diamond, two lighted synthetic turf soccer fields, a shaded group picnic and BBQ area, four lighted bocce ball courts, an adventure playground, and custom furnishings throughout. Children immediately gravitated to the playground this first day.
Although the baseball game was rained out, the rain of course contributes positively to the new phase in other ways. Vegetation will grow to provide aesthetic, ecological, and hydrological features to the sports complex. Bio-basins are planted with over a dozen species of native plants, and include educational signage about the role of a bio-basin in the water cycle, and the pollinators and bloom periods associated with specific native plants.
In just a few months since plant installation, some ornamental grasses, especially Muhlenbergia rigens (Deergrass) and Deschampsia cespitosa (Tufted Hairgrass), already provide significant volume to the new park features. These spaces will continue to fill in adjacent to the picnic and play areas, and at the base of the artist Heath Satow’s “Elatus,” the park’s iconic 32’ tall stainless steel statue.
Carducci Associates has designed a sports complex that includes the thoughtfully-constructed wildness of a true park. On a recent walk through Fallon’s Phase 1, where our office’s planting design has had 10 years to grow in, this unique pairing of landscapes has matured. Baccharis pilularis, Salix lasiolepis, Platanus racemosa and Salvia ‘Pozo Blue’ shade and frame the enduring brightness of synthetic turf, the sharp geometry of adjacent basketball courts, and running paths. The playful contrast between maintenance and wildness, synthetic and natural, continues in Phase 2. Concentric mow pattern rings a baseball pitcher’s mound that echoes Dublin’s hills visible in the distance.
Instances of this balance will increase as the park ages. The third and final phase will complete the picture our office has been involved with since the development of master plan beginning in 2004. The final phase of the 60 acre park will introduce two additional Little League baseball fields, two additional softball fields, additional group picnic and play areas, and the completion of the BMX facility. Fallon Sports Complex provides an intriguing case study for the ability of a traditionally highly maintained and synthetic sports complex to provide an ecological and hydrological partner to broader development patterns taking shape throughout the City of Dublin.