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Highbridge Park

Parks & Recreation Cuts Ribbon on Little League Opening Day

IMMEDIATE
Saturday, April 5, 2008
No. 24
http://www.nyc.gov/parks

Commissioner Adrian Benepe today joined by NYPD’s Commanding Patrol Borough Manhattan North Chief Raymond Diaz, City Council Members Miguel Martinez and Robert Jackson, police officers of the 33rd and 34th Precinct, and young athletes to celebrate opening day of the Police Officer Michael J. Buczek Little League’s 2008 season. To mark the 20th anniversary of the league, officials, coaches, and athletes cut the ribbon on a brand-new synthetic turf field at Highbridge Park. The league is named in honor of Michael Buczek, an officer who lost his life in the line of duty.

“Officer Michael Buczek gave his life trying to protect his community and children from the scourge of drugs, and today we honor his memory by providing a safe place for local schoolchildren to become more involved in exercise and organized sports under the Little League volunteers’ guidance,” said Commissioner Benepe. “Thanks to the advocacy of the Buczek family and funding from Mayor Bloomberg, local children now have a new state-of-the-art baseball field. ‘Play ball!’”

The $900,000 field was constructed entirely with Mayoral funds. In addition to a synthetic turf field, the project added two misting stations, bleachers, new dugouts and gates, a players’ warm-up area improved site lighting and fencing, and accessible drinking fountains.

Benefits of synthetic turf fields include improved safety, increased versatility and high durability to support more field use. The fields do not require weekly mowing, watering, fertilizing, seeding, or other time-intensive maintenance tasks. Additionally, they are useable year-round, and wear out much more slowly.

Prior to the ribbon cutting, “opening day” festivities began with a parade of little league players and their families from P.S. 48 to the site at Highbridge Park. The Michael Buczek Little League hosts 30 teams with over 350 boys and girls, and is operated and coached by police officers from the 34th Precinct.

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