City officials received an earful Wednesday evening from neighbors who oppose plans to rehabilitate , near Union Square.
"I'm ticked," said Jack Gonsalves, a landlord who originally comes from the neighborhood. "Tonight you saw a lot of blowback, and all it's going to do is build."
One woman pointed to the "whole cafeteria of people who are angry," saying that moving forward with the project "doesn't make sense."
"Are you now going to slow the process, stop the process?" Derek Brain, a neighbor, asked city planners, referring to vocal opposition from the crowd.
Around 100 attended the Wednesday's meeting, which was held in the cafeteria.
Plans to rehabilitate Lincoln Park include converting the grass field into a turf field. Eventually, the city might build basketball courts that could convert into a seasonal ice rink, put up a field house and conduct landscaping and drainage improvements. The whole project would cost about $2.5 million to $2.7 million.
The current field is in bad shape and needs updating to accommodate a growing youth soccer program, according to Hayes Morrison, Somerville's director of transportation and infrastructure.
But neighbors weren't having it. Many spoke against plans for artificial turf and the loss of grassy space.
"A large public lawn offers a diversity of uses," said Alexander D'Hooghe, saying that, in addition to soccer games, families use Lincoln Park to hang out and children use it for unstructured play. If the city builds a turf field, "will it be possible to do our own thing in our own public park?" he asked.
"A good chunk of our park is being taken away," said Marian Berkowitz of the proposal.
Others complained about the lack of public process, suggesting the city already made up its mind about the rehab.
"It does feel like an executive decision's been made and we weren't involved in the process," said Ruth Ronen.
Not everyone was opposed to the park rehab. Julian Murphy, a junior at who's on the school's soccer team, said of the turf field, "It's something we truly need."
"Right now the field is okay … but in a few years it's going to be dirt," said Jaime Keegan, a sophomore at Somerville High School who's also on the soccer team.
Ward 2 Alderman Maryann Heuston, who represents the neighborhood, said the rehab plans seem to "be something bigger than the neighborhood bargained for," adding, "That's why there are so many people here tonight and there's so much concern."