The Daily Plant : Wednesday, April 16, 2008
First Pitch for Little Leagues
Baseball season is underway. Not only for the stars of today, the Mets and Yankees, but for the stars of tomorrow, little leaguers across the city.
To celebrate the beginning of the season, a ribbon cutting was held for a new state-of-the-art field at Highbridge Park in Manhattan. On April 5, Commissioner Benepe was joined by City Council Members Miguel Martinez and Robert Jackson, NYPD Manhattan North Chief Raymond Diaz, police officers of the 33rd and 34th Precincts, and young athletes to celebrate the 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.
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.
The Parks Department also worked around the clock to prepare the City’s more than 800 athletic fields for their openings.
Due to late winter rain and snowstorms, our operations staff began adding new clay and grading ballfields in March. The rakes, rotovators, tractors, and front-end loaders were put to work to open all fields by April 12.
We remind New Yorkers that it is as easy as ever to apply online for a ballfield permit at www.nyc.gov/parks. Fields cost $8 per hour and $16 per hour for lighted games. As always, children under the age of 18 play free and New Yorkers are invited to play pick-up games when the fields are not being used by permitted groups.
To learn more about fields in their neighborhood, New Yorkers can contact their borough’s permit office: Bronx: (718) 430-1840/4; Brooklyn: (718) 965-8941; Manhattan: (212) 408-0226; Queens: (718) 393-7272/80; Staten Island: (718) 667-3545.
QUOTATION FOR THE DAY
“The art of medicine consists in amusing the patient
while nature cures the disease.”
(1694 - 1778)
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