The Department of Parks and Recreation broke ground on the renovation of Van Courtland Park on Tuesday, October 21.
The ground breaking was held in honor of the $ 15 million reconstruction for the 65-acre Parade Ground.
“Throughout history, the site of Parade Ground has been home to Native American villages, a Dutch farm, a military training ground, and polo fields,” said Adriana Benepe, Parks Commissioner. “Today, the refurbished fields will offer New Yorkers a state-of-the-art athletic facility for soccer, football, rugby, lacrosse, baseball, softball and more, spanning 65 acres in New York City’s fourth largest park.”
The project will take the 27 existing soccer, baseball, and cricket fields and restructure them to incorporate more spacious playfields and design. Maximizing the space will allow for improved field quality and sight lines.
In addition, Parks also is planning to add a new irrigation and drainage system, repair the cross-country hiking trail, and Van Courtland Stadium will be granted a new synthetic turf football field for players to enjoy.
This $ 15 million in construction is only a portion of the planned $ 40 million that will go towards Van Courtland Park improvements. Also included will be the expansion of the Bronx Greenhouse and Nursery, rehabilitation of Parks headquarters and comfort station, renovation of Shandler Recreation Area and ball fields, preservation of the Old Croton Aqueduct trail, and forest restoration.
The Van Courtland Park projects’ funds were derived from the Croton Filtration Plant project.
“The city’s greatest water supply and City Parks have an historic enduring partnership,” noted Steve Lawitts, DEP First Deputy Commissioner. “This partnership has been particularly active in the past few years as a result of the construction of the Croton Filtration Plant, which is currently being constructed beneath the Mosholu Golf Course.”
The Croton Funded projects are derived from the Croton Water Filtration Plant, funded by the New York City Department of Environmental Protection and the Municipal Water Finance Authority.
“As part of the agreement to build Croton the golf course will be beautifully restored and 75 other parks in the Bronx will be rebuilt,” noted Lawitts.
Parks has currently completed 25 projects at $ 47 million, has 19 in construction totaling $ 62 million, and an additional 31 projects are in the design phase, costing an estimated $ 86 million.