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Morningside Park

Parks Breaks Ground On New Ballfields At Morningside Park

Friday, May 5, 2006
No. 35

Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe today joined Assembly Member Daniel O’Donnell and Friends of Morningside Park President Brad Taylor to announce $390,000 in renovations slated for two ballfields in Morningside Park. The renovations will be one of several projects currently underway or recently completed at the Upper West Side park.

"With all of the recent improvement projects underway at Morningside, including renovated steps, a new security booth, growth removal and greening initiatives, and soon, new perimeter lighting, it is no wonder the Park looks better than ever before," said Commissioner Benepe. "We are very fortunate to have the support of Friends of Morningside Park, whose advocacy, lobbying and community outreach has been invaluable to this Park.

""The renovation of these ball fields restores the largest expanse of natural lawn in Morningside Park. In many respects and to many users these fields are the ‘heart’ of this historic park," said Friends of Morningside Park President Brad Taylor. "The use of natural turf for this project maintains an open expanse of green at this location which is very much in keeping with the vision of the park’s designers Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux while providing quality recreation space for the neighboring communities. The Friends of Morningside Park look forward to working with the community and Parks Dept. to see that this remarkable investment is well maintained for the enjoyment of all."
The two ballfields, both located the Park’s southern end, will be renovated through Mayoral funding through a $390,000 requirements contract. The renovation project will include the re-grading of both ballfields, as well as new topsoil to the outfield and clay to the infields. New backstops, dugouts and benches will be installed, and the rear area of the backstops will receive new pavement to alleviate current muddy conditions. Once re-seeded, the outfields will be maintained by a new Water Reel Irrigation System. A handicapped accessible drinking fountain will also be installed.

The ballfields are scheduled to reopen in time for fall baseball season. Over the next several months, the Park will also receive new sidewalks from West 116th – West 122nd Streets along Morningside Drive, a new pump system for the Morningside Waterfall, improvements to the dog run, and perimeter lighting upgrades. Several projects have also been completed in recent months, including the reconstruction of the West 120th Street steps, an upgraded security booth at 116th Street, bush and growth removal projects along the upper paths, and various cleaning and planting initiatives.

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