The Rocky Hill High School football team helped clean up Quarry Park on Aug. 10. The team is pcitured in front of the old Compressor House, which was filled with garbage prior to the clean up.
On Aug. 10, members of the Rocky Hill football team helped clean up Quarry Park on Esther Drive.
Along with the normal litter and debris along the trail, the old Compressor House — used while the quarry was active — was filled with old metal and other junk from around the area.
Over 40 Rocky Hill football players, led by head coach Rich Dance, joined forces with Rocky Hill Historical Society President Ed Chiucarello, Kerry Wood (State Representative of Connecticut’s 29th House District), Derek Caelin of Sustainable Rocky Hill, and Ester Drive resident Alan Baglia to fill up a 40 cubic foot dumpster.
“This is a good way to get together as a team and do something outside of football, and also give back to the town,” said Dance, who is entering his fourth season as the head coach at RHHS. “The town and the parks and rec do a lot for us, making sure our fields are ready to go and that we have the support and resources we need to have a successful season. This is a good way to give back and to build comradery as a team.”
Alex Peruta, a returning team captain, said the event allowed the team a chance to return the favor to the town.
“The community comes out for us every single game,” stated Peruta, “We need that energy from them, so it means a lot to us to get out here and clean up a park that a lot of the community likes to go to.”
The local quarry was in commission from the early 1900s into the 1950s and Rocky Hill originally got its name from the hill that is now the lookout point at the defunct quarry.
Quarry Park, which was opened in 1991, was in desperate need of a cleaning overhaul because someone had filled up the 120-year-old Compressor House with rusty items from around the area.
With the help of the police and town officials, Chiucarello was able to get the person to stop dumping items in the house, but the mess remained from April 2021 until last week.
“The town wasn’t able to clean it up, but luckily Alan took the lead and parks and rec got involved,” said Chiucarello. “Thankfully the high school got involved and we were able to get it done in one day.”
Baglia said that the idea of cleaning up the park was first brought forth on Earth Day and they planned an official date once the Rocky Hill High School Football Booster Club reached out looking to help with a town project.
The town donated the dumpster, wheel barrels, shovels, and rakes before the players put on gloves and got to work.
After an 18 month wait, it took around three hours for the Compressor House to be emptied and the dumpster to be full.
Wood said that it was nice to have so many players helping out the community, adding, “We had many people hiking through that were so grateful that we were cleaning this stuff up.”
For the team, it was a nice break before the long grind of the football season begins. Dance said the large player participation is an indication of the team’s dedication to the team and the town.
“These guys have bought it all summer long. It’s all optional, but we’ve gotten a great turnout all summer and got a great turnout today,” added Dance. “I couldn't be more proud of my guys for what they were able to accomplish together as a team and for the town.”
Peruta added that the entire experience was rewarding and beneficial for the team because it gave the team a chance to give back while bonding as a team away from the field.
Rocky Hill football’s season kicks off at Hartford Public on Sept. 9, which is the first of three straight road games to start the season. The Terriers’ home opener is against E.O. Smith on Sept. 30 at 7:00 p.m.
Sports Editor for the Rare Reminder, Glastonbury Citizen, and Rivereast News Bulletin