FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 7, 2004
MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG, PARKS & RECREATION COMMISSIONER ADRIAN BENEPE AND CITY COUNCIL MEMBER DENNIS P. GALLAGHER CUT RIBBON FOR NEWLY RENOVATED BALLFIELD IN FOREST PARK
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe, and City Council Member Dennis P. Gallagher today cut the ribbon to celebrate the renovation of the ballfield at the Victory Fields recreational complex in Forest Park. The $1.9 million project, paid for mostly through the Mayor's capital budget, included the installation of artificial turf and new fencing, seating and surrounding landscape at one of Queens' most popular baseball fields.
"We are committed to creating and improving parks and recreational space throughout the five boroughs," said Mayor Bloomberg. "By adding to and improving our more than 1,700 City parks and open spaces, we continue to make our City more livable for all New Yorkers. Using state-of-the-art synthetic turf to convert asphalt ballfields was one of my campaign promises, and we have expanded the initiative to also improve grass fields with poor drainage. This is the 40th new field the Parks Department has installed in the past three years, and currently has another 17 under construction. The renovated ballfield at Victory Field is another great park improvement for Queens and will provide enjoyment for ballplayers and residents of Woodhaven for years to come."
"Forest Park is one of the great recreation resources in New York City. The renovation of this baseball field will greatly improve the experience of residents who play team sports here," said Commissioner Benepe. "Not only has the new fencing and landscaping made the ballfield more attractive, but the new turf will allow us to keep the ballfield open more. I'd like to thank Forest Park Administrator Debbie Kuha for all she has done for this renovation and other recent improvements to the park."
"I would like to thank Mayor Bloomberg, Parks Commissioner Benepe and Queens Parks Commissioner Richard Murphy for assisting in making this project a reality," said Council Member Gallagher. "This new state-of-the-art ballfield is the wave of the future and will allow our children to play in a safe environment for years to come. Within the next few years, we will see substantial improvements to Forest Park, which will further enhance one of Queens County's most vital parklands."
The renovation was funded with $1.4 million in the Mayor's capital budget and $500,000 allocated by Council Member Gallagher. In addition to the new synthetic turf field, Parks & Recreation replaced the aging concrete seating area with steel bleachers that give spectators a more comfortable space to watch games. New dugouts, backstop and a portable pitcher's mound give Victory Ballfield the look of a professional baseball field, and the new picket fencing and landscaping has improved the area's overall appearance.
Parks & Recreation's first artificial turf field opened at Manhattan's Chelsea Park in 1998. Other Queens parks to receive this new generation of artificial turf fields include Juniper Valley Park and Linden Park. In the past three years, Parks & Recreation has installed 40 new synthetic turf fields. 17 artificial fields are currently under construction and there are 20 projects in design. Thanks to technological advances in material and design, the new generation of artificial turf fields play and feel like real grass. A layer of grass-like blades sits on a base of crushed rubber pebbles that makes for an extremely durable playing field. They offer excellent drainage, easy to maintain, and ideal for multi-use recreation fields.
Edward Skyler /Robert Lawson (212) 788-2958
Megan Sheekey (Parks)