Framingham Blog Posts
Bowditch field is a 18 acres athletic field in Framingham, Massachusetts. The field is home to the Framingham State University Rams football and baseball programs. The field also hosts football games from Framingham High as well as athletic events from Mass Bay. The complex is owned and operated by the Town of Framingham.
The field is located between Union Ave and Walnut Street in Framingham.
Current Amenities include Lighted NCAA regulation baseball diamond field, (4) Lighted Tennis Courts, Lighted Football, Lighted Outdoor Basketball, xBE Mile Jogging Area, 6-lane Track, Fitness Course with (20) Exercise Stations, Stadium Seating for 3,500 spectators.
Brief History of the Bowditch Field
The field was the town's "Fair Grounds" and had the first fair in 1869.
In 1917 the town of Framingham acquired the property from the South Middlesex Agricultural Society. At the time the land was used for horse racing and yearly agriculture fairs.
The stadium opened in the 1930s and was one of the Works Progress Administration projects during the Great Depression.
In 1946, the town of Framingham named the complex after Nathaniel Bowditch a long time park commissioner. ( It was not named after the mathematician Nathaniel Bowditch, who also wrote The American Practical Navigator.)
In 1959, 25,000 people gathered at Bowditch Field to celebrate Framingham's Jubilee Day. They gathered to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Trust Company and the 100th anniversary of the Holliston's Hydrant Co. No. 3.
The complex last major renovation was in 2009 and a grand reopening was in October 2010. (The original opening was to be on September 15, 2010.) It cost the town $7.9 million. New stadium seats were added as well as a new concession was built.
In addition, a permanent monument was created near the entrance to highlight the history of the field.
Nathaniel I. Bowditch
Some brief information I found on Nathaniel I. Bowditch:
- Died on April 3, 1945 at 72
- Middlesex County Commissioner and founder since 1926
- Trustee of Massachusetts State College (now UMass)
- MIT Graduate
The Field today
Today most people use the running track as park of their daily exercise. The lights above the field are on every night until 11 pm. There are people that play team basketball until the lights go out.
Every Wednesday night in the summer the Framingham Running Club takes over the facility and conducts several races for kids of all ages. Ribbons are awarded for the first three runners that cross the finish line.
Metrofest has held its annual food truck event. The event features at least 20 food trucks, as well as activities for children, musical performances on two stages, and a tastings tent with craft beer, wine, and hard cider. The event as attracted some 13,500 guests to the Bowditch Athletic & Cultural Complex over the past few years
For one night in August, the town hosts a family movie night. People sit on the field and watch a movie on a large blow up screen. Past movie nights include The Lion King, Frozen and Zootopia.
Framingham High School Graduation and Commencement is held at the Bowditch field.
Parking is very limited with only 50 parking spaces in the immediate Bowditch field complex. The grass area, behind the concession stands, is open up during special events to accomodate more cars. There are some limited parking along Walnut street. Its highly recommend to arrive early for any major event.
The public is invited to use the track when there are no events happening. The football field is off limits to the general public. If you are planning to have an event here, reservations are required. You can download an event permit from the Town of Framingham Park and Recreation website.
Pets are not allowed in the Bowditch field complex.
Framingham MBTA Parking Spaces
New Parking at the Framingham MBTA Commuter Rail Station
The MWRA is in the early stages of building a new parking lot right next to the existing Banana lot in downtown Framingham. There will be an additional 250 parking spaces.
Once completed, there will be 417 parking spaces available for daily commuters to Boston.
The new lot will allow commuters to park much closer to the station.
The MBTA is in the process of cleaning out the 'Y' field area. This was used as a holding area for the rail replacement that has been in process for the past couple of years.
This Falll commuters will be watching construction of the Parking space.
Framingham Pearl Street Garage
A source at the Framingham Facilities Management has told me that they will not be making any changes to any of their commuter parking lots - including the nearby Pearl Street garage. There are no immediate plans to sell the garage or change parking fees.
The Pearl Street garage will still be the cheapest option for Framingham residences. The MBTA does offer a monthly permit for $70. The Pearl Street garage is only $65 for Framingham residents, non-residents pay $80 a month. However, having the MBTA monthly parking pass doesn't guarantee parking.
Last year the town tried to "gift" the lot to MassBay Community College as an incentive to move to downtown. This didn't work out as the State of Massachusetts didn't approve the necessary funding that MassBay needed to relocate.
There are no assign parking spaces in the garage. You are asked not to park in the basement.
Waverly Street Parking Lot
The Town of Framingham leases the lot across from the Commuter Rail station from the MBTA. This is commonly known as the Waverly Street Commuter Lot. I have learned that there is a waiting list for this lot because of its easier for commuters from Natick or Ashland to get in and out of. At $90 a month, this is a very expense lot, although some people pay $100 or more to park at various businesses near the West Natick Commuter Rail station.
Its uncertain if the new Banana Lot extension will fill up every day since some commuters will have to drive through downtown to get to the lot. Framingham traffic is very busy in the morning.
Little Red Wagon Campfire Song
Last week the campers showed visitors to the YMCA camp in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, how to properly sing the 'Little Red Wagon' song.
This is a Repeat After Me song...
You can’t ride in my little red wagon
Front seats broken
And the axle's dragging
SECOND VERSE, SAME AS THE FIRST
A WHOLE LOT LOUDER AND A WHOLE LOT WORSE!
Framingham MBTA Commuter Rail Parking
It’s been a while since I updated on what’s going on for Commuter’s at the Framingham MBTA station:
Framingham commuter rail stop ranks as the 10th most-used station in the entire rail system with 1,400 riders visiting each day.
According to statistics by the MBTA, the Framingham station had the second most typical Boston bound weekday boardings on the Framingham/Worcester line (April 2013 latest data available!)
Commuter Rail Riders
Waverly Street Commuter Lot - 65 Spaces
This is a very popular parking lot across the street from the MBTA station. Spaces are sold by permit only - costing $90 a month. New: All spot are full! Currently, there is a waiting list to get a parking spot.
Pearl Street Garage - 289 Spaces
Monthly permit parking, $65 for Framingham residences and $80 for non-residents. New: Monthly renewals are due no later than the Friday, a week prior to the first of each month. Example: renewal for September 2016 will need to be received no later that Friday, August 19, 2016.
Main MBTA Parking lot (Banana Lot) - 118 Spaces
MetroWest Regional Transit Authority(MWRTA) has signed a deal with the MBTA to take over the commuter rail parking lot. Terms of the deal have yet to be finalized but once completed they will take over full ownership of the parking lot. You’ll see new MWRTA bus shelters and expansion increasing the parking are to 200 spaces. Parking in this lot cost $4 a day.
Saint Bridget Church Flags
In the entrance room at the Saint Bridget Church in Framingham are three flags in a special built in corner display:
This is the message in the window of the display:
The flag on the right was made by the Sisters of Charity, Burlington, Vermont, 1917. It was presented to Chaplain M.J. O'Connor, 101st U.S. Infantry, and carried through World War I by that regiment. President Wilson lunched with officers of 26th Division at French Hospital in Montigny, Christmas 1918. This flag was draped on the back wall back of the President.
The flag on the left was the camp flag at Framingham when the 26th Division served there before going overseas.
New MBTA Framingham/Worcester Schedule
Monday is the start of the new MBTA schedule on the Worcester/Framingham line. The biggest change is the new "Heart to Hub" non-stop express from Worcester to Boston. The have been running promotions all over the Boston about how this will be the first time that people will be able to go from Worcester to Boston in about an hour.
The "Heart to Hub" starts at 8:05 each morning and arrives in Yawkey at 8:57. Which is great except that if you caught the 7:30 train from Worcester you would have arrived at Yawkey about 15 mins earlier. I am not sure how many people are going to want to catch the later train just to avoid the extra stops.
The other change is that p508 train (7am Worcester Departure) no longer stops at downtown Natick. The train now goes express from West Natick to Boston. This might be an issue because West Natick doesn't have a lot of available parking spaces. Many local businesses have made limited spots available for commuters. Many of the good locations are on waiting lists.
I updated the MBTA planner on this site. You can now easily tell when the next train is due to leave Framingham. In addition, the quick reference charts have been updated to when the trains depart Framingham station during peak hours.
Red Sox fans will want to catch the 5:40 (p590) or 6:01 (p524) train from Framingham to make it to the game!
Jordan’s Furniture Couches
A few weekends ago we said goodbye to a couple of our living room Couches. We have decided to replace some old Couches that we got from Bob's Discount Furniture to some nice ones from Jordan's Furniture. We bought the love seat rocker couch in 2003, and the bigger couch in 2005.
Both of the Couches were in fairly good condition. One problem was that the Sofa couch foot rest handle broke. As a result, this means that we were unable to use the footrest in one of the seats. In the love seat rocker, the plastic between the two seats had small cracks in them. We have two cats, and they didn't do any damage to the Couches. Instead of the donating the Couches, we gave them to a co-worker who was looking for Couches for their basement.
The new Couches from Jordan's are very comfortable. They have power footrests, which will make it easy to put up the footrest whenever we need to. In addition, we won't encounter the same issue as the last Couch, the handle probably broke because of the constant use.
The only thing that the new Couch doesn't have is the pull-down table in the center of the sofa. We used this feature a lot to store TV remotes, drinks and assorted books and things. When we were looking at Couches, it seems that the center table isn't a choice anymore. All the manufacturers have removed it, or replaced it with a smaller table that doesn't function well enough to consider.
At some point, we will search for a sofa table as a replacement. This might be challenging because underneath the couch is a metal bar, and it will be difficult to side a table bottom underneath.
We had a good shopping experience at Jordan's in Natick. The process was very simple, and they answered all the questions that we had about the new couch. We are disappointed that they are changing out the Mardi Gras theme in the main entrance way. It was a fun area where kids can watch the show and look forward to visiting the store.
One of the things that we should have done is measure the existing Couches before going out shopping. That way we would have known if the new Couches were bigger or smaller than the existing ones.
We ended up getting a Love Seat and a Sofa. We felt got a great deal on them. Later we discovered that they were cheaper than anything similar that Bobs had to offer.
Saint Bridget School Auction
The Annual Saint Bridget School Auction is underway and this year there are 90 items are up for Bid!Some of the notable items:
- 8th Grade Graduation Front Row Seats
- Red Sox Pavilion Club Seats
- Duck Boat Tours
- A Summer Vacation Week on Cape Cod! Walk to the beach!
- Two Weeks at Camp Cody in New Hampshire
You may bid on as many items as you want. Bidding ends at 5pm on Friday, May 13, 2016. Once bidding closes, those bidders with the highest bid will be automatically notified via email. You will then be prompted to pay for your item via PayPal. If you would prefer to pay by cash or check please email Jenn Ryan to make arrangements for payment.
All paid items can be picked up at the school during the Murder Mystery Dinner and Auction on May 14th. If you've paid for your item and would prefer for us to send it home in your child's backpack, simply email Jenn Ryan to coordinate. If you are not a Saint Bridget School Family and have won an item, please send Jenn an email and we will make arrangements with you to have your item shipped or picked up.
Check out the Bidding Page!
This is a big spring cleaning weekend. With some coordination with our neighbors, we got a dumpster for the next couple of weeks. We got our 10 yard dumpster from Need One Dumpster Service. It's going to cost us about $100 each, we may have to pay more if we exceed the base weight.
We are going to use this opportunity to clean out some moldy furniture in the basement and some other things around the house.
There are some limits to what we can throw out, based on the prohibited Items list:
- Biohazard/medical waste
- Liquid Paints
Some things that we learned:
They charged $35 for a Mattress, but we learned that the Framingham Recycle center will accept an infant mattress for no charge. So if you looking to dispose of an infant mattress, check your local dump to see you can throw it away for no cost.
They don't accept yard waste, which is too bad since we had some yard brush that we wanted to get rid of. You can get a separate dumpster that would accept yard waste, but we wouldn't have enough to justify getting a separate dumpster.
One of the walls of the 10 Yard Dumpster at Need One Dumpster Service opens, which allows you to walk into the dumpster. This makes loading a lot easier.
So Far, So Good
I would highly recommend teaming up with a neighbor or two and renting out a dumpster for a week. It might cost a bit of money in the short run, but a nice clean house helps everyone. Just make sure to know how much stuff you need to get rid of.
Remember, a lot of things can be donated for a tax write-off.
No More Plastic Bags - Coming to Framingham?
Framingham may soon be joining Newton, Brookline, and Cambridge in banning the use of plastic bags in all retail stores. Framingham resident Ken Weiss has filed a petition to have the town vote on that matter at the 2016 Town Meeting. The Town Meeting starts on April 26.
There are 49 warrents on the 2016 Annual Town Meeting, 8 of which are citizen petitions. Some other notable petitions:
- Repeal Sex Offender ByLaw
- Amend Handicapped Parking Rules
- Reducing the number of "job searches" that a veteran receiving ch. 115 assistance must conduct in a week from 10 to 3.
- Authorizing a research committee to review plans to establish a Women Veterans' Memorial.
Water Bottle Ban in 2014
In 2014, at a Framingham Special Town Meeting, residents were asked to vote on ban the sale of non-sparkling, single-use bottles of water made with the chemical PET. This petition was submitted by Framingham High School senior Matt D'Amico.
The Water Bottle ban petition lost with 40 in favor, and 60 opposed.
Town Meeting Proceedures
Any Framingham resident can sponsor an article for the yearly Town Meeting, they simply need the signature of 10 other residences. In a special Town Meeting, 100 signatures are required.
At the Town Meeting, the sponsor makes a presentation of up to 10 minutes, describing the purpose of the motion. After the presentation, the Moderator will ask for reports from the committees. Then the Moderator lets the public speak on the motion.
It can get a bit tricky because a Town Meeting Member may move that the article is referred back to a committee for more study or make a motion to "move the question." A "move the question" motion is voted upon immediately, and, if passed, the discussion terminates.
There are 68,300 residents that live in Framingham, the largest town population in Massachusetts.