City Inaugurates Restoration of Long Meadow Ball Diamonds 2 and 3
The revolutionary. Photo courtesy of NYC Parks
New York City Parks Commissioner Gabrielle Fialkoff and Prospect Park Alliance President Sue Donoghue joined City Council Member Brad Lander, New York State Assemblyman Bobby Carroll, Prospect Park Baseball Association President Eddie Albert and members of the community for the dedication ceremony for Long Meadow 2 and 3 ball diamonds Thursday in Prospect Park.
The fields are the last of seven in Long Meadow to be rebuilt with $1.5 million in funding from Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Councilman Brad Lander, who has been a champion of this project and others at Prospect Park throughout his tenure.
“Prospect Park is affectionately known as the backyard of Brooklyn, and any good backyard should provide space to throw a ball or two. With $1.5 million in funding from Mayor de Blasio and councilman Lander , there will be plenty of room to enjoy the fully restored fields of Long Meadow,” said New York City Parks Commissioner Gabrielle Fialkoff. “We are excited to be nearing the end of this restoration project and supporting our partners. of the Prospect Park Alliance as their vision comes to life.We know these ball diamonds will be valuable equipment for decades to come.
“Brad Lander has done so much for Brooklyn’s Backyard during his time on City Council, and we thank him for his service to our community,” said Sue Donoghue, president of Prospect Park Alliance. “The dedication of the final two ball diamonds at Long Meadow represents his stewardship and support of restoring these vital recreational amenities for all of Brooklyn, and the greatest legacy he will leave in Prospect Park.”
When complete, this project will include fully restored ball diamonds with additional drainage to keep the pitches in good playing condition. It will also feature new pathways and benches, dedicated clay storage bins and shaded dugouts. Construction will officially begin in January 2022 with completion scheduled for December 2022. Funding for these two fields included an allocation of $800,000 from Mayor de Blasio and $750,000 from council member Lander.
“Prospect Park has often been called the backyard of Brooklyn, and the Long Meadow ball diamonds are the part of the court where people of all ages are given free rein to play, compete and have fun. The thousands of “Brooklyn residents who use these fields for baseball, softball, football and other recreational activities rejoice at this news today. I thank the Prospect Park Alliance, as well as Council Member Lander for his leadership” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.
“I am so happy that the restoration of the last two Long Meadow ball diamonds is underway!” said New York City Council member Brad Lander. “Our parks and playgrounds are an essential resource, especially during this pandemic. We must continue to work to keep our communities happy, healthy and connected through community green spaces. Brooklynites of all ages will enjoy these ball diamonds for years.
From the early years of Prospect Park in the late 19th century, the south end of Long Meadow was used extensively for sporting purposes – first by croquet clubs, then for lawn tennis and finally for pass- America’s ultimate time: baseball. With growing demand overwhelming the nearby Parade Ground, five baseball diamonds and an area for soccer and football were built on this part of the Long Meadow in 1959, with concrete and brick bleachers and surrounded by fencing , both of which interrupted the view along the length of the prairie.
“Prospect Park is the jewel in Brooklyn’s crown and has never played such a vital role in the lives of Brooklynites as it has in the past two years. Throughout his tenure as a City Councilman, Brad Lander has worked hand in hand with the Prospect Park Alliance and NYC Parks to maintain, improve and restore this invaluable public space.While I know his support will continue in his new role as City Comptroller, I would like to special thanks to Brad for his partnership with me and his generous and truly selfless support for the park and this particular project,” said New York State Assemblyman Bobby Carroll.
“For more than ten years, I have known Brad as an elected official, but also as a coach and a parent. He was always thoughtful, empathetic, decisive and creative – qualities that speak very well for the future of our city. His unwavering support for creating the best ballparks in the city is a tribute to his dedication to Brooklyn families and will be enjoyed by hundreds of thousands for decades to come,” said Eddie Albert, President of the Prospect Park Baseball Association.
In 2011, Prospect Park Alliance created a new master plan to restore the fields of Long Meadow. To date, five of the seven fields have been restored, with these two remaining fields to begin construction. City Councilman Lander was instrumental in executing this plan as he secured funding for this and other projects in Prospect Park. His contributions include:
- Funded: Kid’s Corner Improvements
- In design: Riding ring; Restoration of the Prospect Park Tennis House; Nethermead Footpath Restoration
- In procurement: Harmony playground upgrades and adult fitness area; maintenance compound
- In construction: Historical house of Lefferts
- Completed: Concert Grove Pavilion; Long Meadow Ballfields 1, 4-7 including Dog Beach, Endale Arch causeway and drainage, Parade Ground Dog Run