Restored Ball Field Opens for Play
April 18, 2016
The annual Prospect Park Baseball Association’s Opening Day Parade on Saturday, April 2, marked the rainy but celebratory return of baseball to Prospect Park, with hundreds of youth league players turning out for the ceremonial first pitch with Mayor Bill de Blasio, Council Member Brad Lander and other officials. It also signified the highly anticipated reopening of Long Meadow Ball Field 1, and the start of work on Fields 6 and 7, which the Prospect Park Alliance is restoring as part of a phased restoration of the ball fields and surrounding landscapes. The first and second phases of this project are funded through the Brooklyn Borough President’s office, Council Members Brad Lander and Stephen Levin, and the New York City Council Brooklyn Delegation.
“Baseball is the quintessential Brooklyn pastime,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “I’m incredibly proud that we can celebrate the long-awaited reopening of Field 1 at Prospect Park’s Long Meadow Ball Fields as we kickoff little league season, and I commend the Prospect Park Alliance for their vision in rejuvenating this important community space.”
Field 1 restoration was centered on improving play through re-grading the field, installing a new sub-surface drainage system and laying down new turf and a new clay infield capable of supporting both baseball and softball play. In addition, the Alliance installed a new backstop and storage bin, new dugouts, and accessible paths.
The surrounding areas saw improvements as well. Pathways were re-paved, new lighting, benches and an additional drinking fountain were installed as well as new bike racks. Plus, the nearby Bridle Path was reconstructed, and the topography was subtly changed to provide a viewing and picnicking area near the outfield. And of course, the Alliance planted many new trees!
The renovation of Fields 6 and 7 will begin this month, with much of the same work as Field 1. The project will conclude in Fall 2017, and the fields will reopen for ball play in Spring 2018, in order to give the turf a chance to grow.
Prospect Park also benefited from City Council funding through the Participatory Budgeting NYC process, with the public voting to provide the Alliance with a new aquatic weed harvester, freeze-resistant water fountains and new barbecue grills.