The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, June 7, 2002


One person can make a difference ­ more on the recreation commission

Puzzle pieces were missing from the recreation commission article in the May 24 Mosquito. How and when did the full slate of recreation courses for adults and children begin? When was the Banta-Davis Field fully developed? Who was instrumental in these two ventures? The answer is Carol Peters, a 20-year resident of Carlisle, who, along with a dedicated team of commission volunteers, began the year-round recreation program and sponsored the development of the Banta-Davis Land.

Desired local activities

Six years ago Peters's mother moved to the senior housing in Carlisle. At that time there were few activities offered for senior citizens besides the COA gatherings and occasional classes. Her mother attended an art class in Chelmsford, but Peters realized more should be done locally. About two or three years prior to this, the after-school volunteer program, Dimensions, had ended due to the cost of running the program. Peters and Deb Darago saw the need to bring recreation choices to Carlisle for adults and children alike. Darago handled the financial end, and Peters worked on the program development. In the fall of 1997, the Carlisle Recreation enrichment program offered its first line-up of courses, including Rocket Science, Introduction to Karate, Chess, Beginning German for Children and Fun with Fabrics. Peters had joined the recreation commission and eventually served as chair for two years. After six years, Peters presented a request at Town Meeting to have a part-time town employee hired to do what had become a 30-hour volunteer job for her. The position was created and Jan Deyoe took over as director of the recreation program.


During Peters's six years of work with the recreation commission, the ball fields in Concord were still being used by Carlisle teams and it was clear that the Spalding Field and the one field at Banta-Davis did not provide enough resources for the various sports teams. Eva Herndon, who was chair of the recreation commission prior to Peters, had a feasibility study done on the Banta-Davis Field. Though five fields were originally planned, to cut costs the commission recommended three fields be developed. Mark Spears, Bob Fidler and Mike Coscia joined the recreation commission after approval was given on the development of the fields. The approval was not a simple process, as budgets were as tight in the past as they are today. "There were trade-offs on where to use money," Peters explained, "but it was important for the kids." Around this time the recreation commission was allocated a small corner of the mail and lunchroom in the Town Hall. Lorraine Stone was with Peters the day they moved a small portable cart into the room. Today the converted room, a fully functioning office, is a testament to Peters's desire to have the recreation department taken seriously. "I really credit Peters for the ongoing success of the program," said current chair Maureen Tarca. "She took her personal time and money," and developed the recreation programs.

All of Carlisle benefits

When you sign up for a painting class or watch a softball game at the Banta-Davis Field, think of Peters's volunteer spirit and her desire to provide activities for her mother and other Carlisle residents. Though many volunteers contributed to the development of the recreation department, "the foundation is Peters," said Tarca. Carlisle citizens have a long history of using their own resources and time to benefit the whole town.

2002 The Carlisle Mosquito