Mattapoisett Divided on Dog Park, Pickleball for Former Holy Ghost Grounds

In a quaint town named Mattapoisett, nestled off Park Street, a curious dilemma has gripped the community. The town’s Holy Ghost Grounds, a sprawling 5-acre property, stands at the crossroads of transformation. On a fine Tuesday, the Mattapoisett Holy Ghost Grounds Reuse Committee convened to unveil the results of a pivotal public survey. The survey aimed to decipher the aspirations of the townsfolk regarding the fate of this erstwhile sacred space. Little did they expect the storm of opinions that would wash over them.

Mattapoisett Divided on Dog Park, Pickleball for Former Holy Ghost Grounds

A Surprising Turnout at Mattapoisett

The first revelation that greeted the committee was the astounding participation in the survey. A total of 553 surveys flooded in, surpassing all expectations. Amongst these, 80 were non-full-time residents or visitors from neighboring towns. It was intriguing to note that the average age of respondents, ranging from 18 and upwards, settled at 41 years. However, the most significant chunk of responses came from the 60 to 75-year age group.

Aspirations Take Shape

The survey participants were posed with a crucial question – how frequently would they utilize the rejuvenated Holy Ghost Grounds? With this context, the canvas of possibilities was laid out. What did the townspeople desire to witness in this rejuvenated space?

A Close Contest

In a classic display of divided interests, two ideas emerged as front-runners: a dog park and pickleball courts. The data revealed a stunning tie between proponents and opponents of these concepts. For instance, 137 respondents were keen on having pickleball courts, but they were met with stiff resistance, with 163 respondents against the idea. The dog park, too, found itself in a near-deadlock, with 182 enthusiasts and 183 resolute dissenters.

Passive Pleasures

Amidst this tug of war, three suggestions surfaced as clear favorites for passive recreational activities. These were a picnic area (endorsed by 225 respondents), a playground (supported by 224), and a walking loop (garnering a whopping 270 votes.)

The Need for Deliberation

Committee Chair, Mike Rosa, expressed the need for further analysis of the data. He emphasized that write-in suggestions from the public should also be considered in the final tally. Greta Fox, the director of the Recreation Department and a committee member, concurred. She pointed out that while some respondents liked certain ideas, they were hesitant about how often they would actually utilize them.

A Plethora of Possibilities

The town’s imagination knows no bounds, as evidenced by the wide array of suggestions. Some proposed an amphitheater for cultural gatherings, while others dreamt of an indoor public pool for year-round swimming. Surprisingly, even a sports stadium was tossed into the mix.

A Committee’s Responsibility

Rosa was unequivocal in stating that the committee’s role was not to dictate to the Select Board what should be erected on the site. Instead, they aim to present the entirety of the data for the board’s careful consideration. Ultimately, the fate of the Holy Ghost Grounds will be decided by the Town Meeting at a future date. The committee, cognizant of their responsibility, also intends to organize a public session, inviting the entire town to partake in discussions, potentially with the convenience of zoom access.


The Holy Ghost Grounds in Mattapoisett have become a battleground for differing visions of the town’s future. The survey results indicate a community deeply divided over its aspirations for this cherished space. As the committee delves deeper into the data and the Select Board takes up the mantle of decision-making, the fate of the Holy Ghost Grounds hangs in the balance.


  1. What is the Holy Ghost Grounds in Mattapoisett? The Holy Ghost Grounds is a 5-acre property in Mattapoisett, Massachusetts, that is under consideration for redevelopment.
  2. What were the most popular suggestions for the Holy Ghost Grounds? The most popular suggestions included a picnic area, a playground, and a walking loop.
  3. Who is in charge of making decisions about the Holy Ghost Grounds? The decisions regarding the Holy Ghost Grounds will ultimately be made by the Town Meeting, with input from the Select Board and the Mattapoisett Holy Ghost Grounds Reuse Committee.
  4. What role does the committee play in this process? The committee’s role is to gather and analyze data, present it to the Select Board, and facilitate public discussions about the future of the Holy Ghost Grounds.
  5. When is the next meeting of the Mattapoisett Holy Ghost Grounds Reuse Committee? The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, October 19, at 6:00 pm, where the committee will prepare a presentation for a public meeting.

Source : The Wanderer.

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