The Daily Plant : Friday, March 28, 2003
BREAK OUT THE CLAY, BALLFIELD SEASON HAS ARRIVED
Opening day at all of the stadia is mere days away, but there are other amazing baseball teams in New York City besides the Mets, Yankees and Cyclones—and no one’s calling those teams shabby. Beginning April 12, ballfields in parks around the five boroughs will once again play home to hundreds of softball and baseball teams, from little leaguers to corporate challengers. Of course, getting the clay and grass shipshape before thousands of players hit the fields is no easy task.
On March 25, Director of Training Mike Cresenzo and Brooklyn Deputy Chief of Operations Tom Ching joined over 40 of Parks’ citywide ballfield experts at 5-Boro for an all-day seminar on ballfield care. The seminar was conducted by Floyd Perry, a nationwide expert on ballfields who has managed fields for both professional stadiums and the 1996 Olympics, and Dale Getz of the Toro Company, a former head groundskeeper at Notre Dame. The program resulted from a partnership between 5-Boro Operations and Storr Tractor, who organized the day.
Parks & Recreation maintains hundreds of fields citywide used for soccer, baseball, cricket and more. With our citywide ballfield preparations now beginning, the seminar focused on the ideal times to schedule maintenance and seeding of fields, and how to best address challenges caused by weather, weeds, and heavy usage. Properly timing the fertilization, irrigation and closing off of fields makes all the difference in providing first class fields for the public to enjoy. Parkies also got themselves dirty, testing out various types of equipment brought over by Storr Tractor.
Once the fields are ready, the games begin. Parades and kick-off ceremonies are taking place in parks around the city, from the Prospect Park Little League Opening Day Parade on April 5 to the Bayside Little League (now celebrating its 50th anniversary) on April 12 in Crocheron Park. In recent years, New York City’s little league teams have received national attention for their outstanding performances, and these top-notch fields play no small role in allowing athletes to play their best.
If you’re too old for the little leagues but are still interested in playing on a regular basis, softball leagues are one of the best ways to get on the field. Leagues such as the Yorkville Sports Association, Big Apple Softball, and NYC Softball offer New Yorkers a chance to play every week. If you’re looking for a one-time permit for you and your friends, it’s always best to get your application in early, but it’s not too late. Once the season starts, applying for a field application becomes a rolling process and the turnaround on permit requests is only 1-2 days. Applying for a one-time field permit is easy, and there’s no minimum number of people needed to play. The best way to apply is online at www.nyc.gov/parks and rates are $16 for 2 hours ($32, for lighted games).
We want to wish all ballfield operations staff a happy and productive beginning to the season. Thanks to Ken Jenks of Storr Tractor, and to Dan Froehlich and Susan Silvestro at 5-Boro for putting the program together.
And to all those Derek Jeters of the softball world, good luck in the fields.
Written by Keith Kerman and Eric Adolfsen
PARKIES ON ICE
On Tuesday, March 25, 2003, over 400 Parkies and their families gathered at Wollman Rink in Central Park for an evening of ice skating and fun.
Commissioner Adrian Benepe addressed the crowd from the rink in skates—thanking Parks employees for their commitment and conveying how much their hard work means to the city. He added, "Have fun tonight but get some rest too as we gear up for the busy season ahead." Although the Commissioner asked fellow skaters to please help him up if they noticed him fall, we are pleased to report that he rivaled Wayne Gretzky on the ice this year.
One of the Operations Department’s ice-skating stars, Sean Williams remarked, "This is a wonderful event. Parks & Recreation is an agency that really demonstrates how much it cares about it’s employees!"
Allison Jaffin from the Mayor's Office said "two of my favorite things about New York City are Central Park and the people I work with here. It doesn't get much better than skating with them for free in gorgeous weather."
For those that did not brave the ice, there was plenty of hot chocolate, pretzels, and friends to catch up with at the event. Thanks to April Allen, Events Manager of Wollman Rink, Claudine Revere, Owner of Relish Caterers, and Anna Carey from Citywide Events for making it such a great evening.
QUOTATION FOR THE DAY
"What is central to business is the joy of creating."
Directions to Crocheron Park
- BREAK OUT THE CLAY, BALLFIELD SEASON HAS ARRIVED
- ALLEY POND OVERNIGHT ADVENTURE