New HP fields opened

New York City park commissioner, Adrian Benepe, throws first pitch on the new Julio Carballo Ball Field, after celebrating the ribbon cutting on the 2 million dollar project. Photo by Amanda Marinaccio

The children of Hunts Point have a new place to turn for outdoor fun.

The reconstruction of the Julio Carballo Ball Fields, an ongoing project for two years, is finally complete.

Community members and park officials gathered on Monday, September 15, along with students from St. Ignatius Elementary School, to cut the ribbon to the new park.

The parks creation took much longer than expected due to toxins discovered beneath the ground. Extra care was taken to secure the proper clean up of the area before continuing construction.

Formerly known as Manida Park, the area was renamed in honor of Bronx resident and contributor, Julio Carballo, in 1997.

“The community really needed something like this,” explains Hunts Point Recreation Center manager Fernando Rosa, who was thrilled by the public’s response to the park.

The park, costing an estimated $2 million, features one little league field, a tee-ball field, a multi-use field, basketball court, and running track. Complementing these features additions such as steel bleachers, ADA accessible picnic tables, benches, game tables, drinking fountains, play equipment, and a spray shower were also included. New and beautiful landscaping and fencing to distinguish the area surround all the parks features.

“We don’t have many fields with a grass infield, this was a very difficult job and the net results are just beautiful,” explains the New York City park commissioner Adrian Benepe.

“Hunts Point has some of the finest parks in the city, we went from some of the poorest to the nicest. The Mayors eventual goal is to have all residents live within a ten-block radius, or walking distance, of a park.”

According to the Parks & Recreation department the project is financed by mitigation funds from the construction of the Croton Water Filtration Plant through the New York City Department of Environmental Protection and the Municipal Water Finance Authority.

This park is just one small step in the grand scale $200 million invested in parks throughout the borough. Parks has competed 22 Croton projects, and still has 21 in construction and 32 in design. All are hoped to be underway and on their way to completion in the next few years.

“It’s a great day because we have another project in the books and done. We are in the middle of the largest period of park expansion in 70 years,” Benepe stated.

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