Van Cortlandt Park

Parks Breaks Ground On Renovation Of Van Cortlandt Park's Parade Ground

Wednesday, October 22, 2008
No. 116

Bronx Borough Parks Commissioner Hector Aponte today joined State Senator Jeff Klein, Assembly Member Jeffrey Dinowitz, Council Member Oliver Koppell, and DEP First Deputy Commissioner Steve Lawitts to break ground on $15 million in reconstruction to the 65-acre Parade Ground, a popular outdoor athletic field facility in Van Cortlandt Park. Officials also announced additional upcoming capital projects for a total $40 million investment in Van Cortlandt Park, all financed by $200 million in funds generated from the construction of the Croton Water Filtration Plant under the park’s Mosholu Golf Course Driving Range, through the New York City Department of Environmental Protection and the Municipal Water Finance Authority. The Mexican American Soccer League and Common Wealth Cricket League attended, while The Fordham School of the Arts Vocal Ensemble and Theodore Roosevelt Education Campus step dancing group provided entertainment.

“The venerable Van Cortlandt Park Parade Ground will be renovated thanks to a $15 million allocation from the $200 million investment in Bronx parks financed by DEP Croton Mitigation Funds,” said Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe. “Throughout history, the site of the Parade Ground has been home to Native American villages, a Dutch farm, a military training ground, and polo fields. Today, the refurbished fields will offer New Yorkers a state of the art athletic facility for soccer, football, rugby, lacrosse, baseball, softball and more, spanning 65 acres in New York City’s fourth largest park.”

The 27 existing soccer, baseball/softball, and cricket fields will be re-graded and redesigned in a new layout to maximize play space, enhance field quality, and improve sight lines. A new irrigation and drainage system will also be installed. In addition, portions of the cross-country trail will be improved, and a new synthetic turf football field is being installed at Van Cortlandt Stadium.

In September 2004, the City Council approved a Memorandum of Understanding with New York State allowing the City to move forward with the construction of a water filtration plant for the Croton Water Supply under the Mosholu Golf Course in Van Cortlandt Park. As part of the agreement, more than $200 million generated from water and sewer revenue is being spent on improvements to over 70 Bronx parks, including Van Cortlandt Park, which will receive $40 million in improvements. DEP Croton-funded projects in Van Cortlandt Park include the renovation and expansion of the Bronx Greenhouse and Nursery, the rehabilitation of the Park Headquarters and Comfort Station, the renovation of the Shandler Recreation Area and ballfields, the preservation of the Old Croton Aqueduct Trail, as well as $13 million committed to a forest restoration team.

“The City's great water supply and City Parks have an historic enduring partnership,” said DEP First Deputy Commissioner Steve Lawitts. “This partnership has been particularly active in the past few years as a result of the construction of the Croton Filtration Plant, which is currently being constructed beneath the Mosholu Golf Course. As part of the agreement to build Croton the golf course will be beautifully restored and 75 of other parks in the Bronx will be rebuilt.”

Croton-funded projects are improving neighborhood parks, renovating regional recreation facilities, developing the Bronx Greenway, improving and expanding access to the Bronx waterfront, and “greening” the borough. To date, Parks has completed 25 Croton projects, totaling more than $47 million and 19 more projects totaling more than $62 million are in construction. There are also 31 additional projects in design totaling more than $86 million.

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