Project of the Month February '01
UNIPER VALLEY PARK: BALLFIELDS
Project Manager: Robert Cook, CPM
Consultant Designer: The Saratoga Associates
Project Title: The Reconstruction of the Ballfields Between Juniper Boulevard North, Juniper Boulevard South, 72nd Street and 75th Place, in Juniper Valley Park, Borough of Queens.
Contract #: Q102-100M
Funding: This project is funded by City Council Member Thomas Ognibene.
Location: Juniper Valley Park is located within Queens Community Board #5 and Council District #30. The total park consists of 55 acres; the ballfield contract area consists of 11.5 acres.
Site History: Most of what is now Juniper Valley Park was acquired by Parks in 1938. It was named after Juniper Valley Swamp, which lies under the park and surrounding community. This was covered over with fill material to allow for development. This created an unstable building environment, which is evident by the drooping roof ridges of nearby houses. Juniper Valley Park includes recreational facilities for baseball, tennis, football, soccer, track, handball, and basketball, in addition to areas for more leisurely uses such as playgrounds for children, picnic areas, and walking paths. The park contains a field house and several comfort stations. The historic Pullis Farm Cemetery, acquired in 1949, occupies a small space in the northeast corner of the park.
Surrounding Land Use: Properties to the north and south of the park are primarily residential multi-family dwellings. To the east of the park, there are commercial lots with small businesses. To the west, directly opposite the running track, there are railroad tracks owned by the New York Connecting Railway (Conrail).
Design Intent: The existing ballfields at Juniper Valley will be replaced with new and improved facilities that will better meet the high demand and usage within the community. The new design will allow for play to occur uninterrupted from adjacent baseball games. The project includes re-grading the site and providing new field surfaces, baseball backstops, bleachers, players' benches, paving, and a new water supply and irrigation system.
The design of this project has been a long and involved process with much input from the community, as there are many leagues in the area that have vested interest in the redesign of the ballfields. Wendy Carroll worked on the initial development of the program, which has since undergone a series of design permutations on its way to this final layout. This design achieves a balance in separating the ballfield area from the rest of the park by the way in which it is tucked into its own corner, but also making it inviting and welcoming to the general public in addition to the local league teams.
Estimated Construction Start:Spring, 2001
These fields are designed specifically for baseball, and are sod fields with bean clay, a professional quality clay mixture that is used in the infields as well as the outer warning track. The fields are also fully irrigated with an automatic irrigation system.