The reservoir's historic structures & ecosystems are an opportunity to create a unique environmental education center for our children & their future.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Highland Park Problems

As it has been pointed out numerous times in the past, the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation's ability to maintain existing recreational facilities at Highland Park is dubious, at best. I can't imagine the mess they would make if they razed the forests and wetlands in the reservoir basins to build their proposed facilities. From the New York Daily News:

Cypress Hills softball players say city needs to replace lights and cut grass on field
Burnt-out lights lights at Highland Park are ruining games, players say
Wednesday, June 6, 2012, 5:52 PM

This field of dreams in Cypress Hills Dozens has become an endless nightmare for a group of softball players.

Members of the Hermanos Unidos softball league say burnt -out spotlights are ruining games at Highland Park on Jamaica Ave. - just like it did two years ago.

After the city fixed electrical issues that caused the field to be poorly-lit in June 2010, players are once again running the bases in the dark because the burnt-out bulbs haven’t been replaced.

“It’s frustrating,” said league organizer Yordi Olivo. “There are players who miss balls. They can’t see it because it gets dark after 8pm.”

Players counted as many as 14 bulbs that have been out since last August. The unkempt outfield has also been a problem for players who said they finally broke down and started paying a local contractor $100 a week out of their own pockets to mow the grass.

After the News inquired about the situation, city Parks Department officials said it would cost too much to replace each individual bulb on the light towers right away but said both issues would be fixed next week.

“The recent unseasonably warm weather and heavy rains have caused the grass to grow at an unusually rapid rate, and we are unable to mow the grass after rainstorms without damaging the field,” said Park Dept. spokesman Zachary Feder.

“These ballfields are scheduled to be mowed again by the end of the week and the burnt-out lights replaced by early next week.”

Players and organizers said the Parks Department can’t fix the field soon enough.

League president Jose Claudio said he’s left several messages to members of the Parks Department asking them to replace the lights but never heard back.

“Whenever the sky is cloudy, no one can see the ball,” said Claudio. “When we get to the playoffs this is going to be a big problem.”

Gabby Borges, 45, was playing catcher on Tuesday when he lost a routine pop fly in the dark sky because of the poor lighting. The ball bounced between him and the pitcher and three runs scored.

“If there was enough light I would have seen it,” said Borges. “You feel bad but there’s nothing we can do. It’s not like we can climb up the pole and fix the lights ourselves.”

Salvador Valera, who owns the permit to play on the field six days a week, wants results for the $6,000 he paid for the permit.

“They are killing us. We can’t afford to pay all that money but we do it,” said Valera. “We have no other choice but to come up with the money but we don’t get the service that we pay for.”

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