LOWER HIGHLAND PARK BALLFIELD RENOVATIONS A HOME RUN FOR BROOKLYN AND QUEENSFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, June 21, 2016
NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP, today joined Council Member Rafael Espinal, Jr., Assembly Member Erik Dilan, and members of the Bushwick High School Tigers baseball team to cut the ribbon on two newly renovated turf baseball fields in Highland Park. The project was funded with $3.4 million allocated by the City Council and an additional $700,000 in Mayoral support.
“It’s our mission to provide New Yorkers with access to high-quality sports fields and recreational amenities,” said Commissioner Silver. “The new fields in Highland Park are a great addition to this area, and will benefit everyone from little leaguers to heavy hitters.”
“I remember playing baseball as a kid and walking to Queens with our equipment in search of a better field. Finally a new generation of ball players will be able to play baseball in their own neighborhood at a field they can be proud of. I’m grateful to my predecessor, Assembly Member Erik Dilan, for always advocating for Highland Park and for funding this project while he was in the City Council. I’ve always said that I wanted to make Highland Park the best park in Brooklyn, and with the completion of these ballfields we are one step closer,” stated Council Member Rafael L. Espinal, Jr.
The new fields feature clay mounds, regulation backstops, shaded dugouts with benches, and new drinking fountains. One of the fields has 90 foot long baselines for adult play, and the other has 60 foot baselines for youth programs and softball. A decorative stone wall was constructed to line the outfields, designed to be in character of the historic values of Highland Park. Existing drainage and erosion issues were also addressed and corrected. Construction began in November 2014, and the fields were opened to the public in May 2016.
Conveniently located on a high plateau that straddles Queens and Brooklyn, Highland Park offers stunning views of Ridgewood Reservoir, the Rockaways, the Atlantic Ocean, and nearby cemeteries.
The City has committed an additional $13 million to improve Highland Park through the East New York Community Plan, a comprehensive neighborhood plan to promote affordable housing preservation and development, encourage economic development, create pedestrian-friendly streets, and invest in community resources to support the long-term growth and sustainability of East New York, Cypress Hills and Ocean Hill. The Plan was developed through a robust community planning process, through close collaboration with residents, stakeholders and elected officials.
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