Two newly-restored ballfields have reopened at Prospect Park’s Long Meadow, finally wrapping up the longterm renovation of the park’s seven ballfields just as the baseball season begins.
The restoration was made possible with funding allocated by City Comptroller Brad Lander back when he served as council member in District 39. Over the last several years, the park has closed the ballfields down in sections to fully rehabilitate the torn-up lawns.
“The restoration of the final two Long Meadow Ballfields mark the conclusion of an important improvement to Brooklyn’s Backyard,” said Morgan Monaco, Prospect Park Alliance president, at a March 31 ribbon-cutting ceremony. “These fields are vital recreational amenities for all of Brooklyn, serving thousands of youth each year, and we are so grateful for the support of Brad Lander, our partners at NYC Parks and all our local elected officials whose support enables the Alliance to sustain Prospect Park for the millions of community members who live and play here.”
The Alliance installed new clay infields and drainage to keep the fields in good playing condition and added clay storage bins and comfortable shaded dugouts for players. Along the sides of the fields, the Alliance also built new paved pathways, drinking fountains, and benches. The new fields have also been reseeded.
Long Meadow has been a popular sports and recreation destination for Brooklynites and was originally established in the late 19th century as a field location for croquet clubs and lawn tennis. Today, it serves the community as a baseball field for neighbors and local teams.
“I’m excited to say ‘play ball’ once again on the newly restored Long Meadow Ballfields, thanks to the hard work of the Prospect Park Alliance,” said Lander, who also threw out a ceremonial first pitch. “Investing in our parks and recreational spaces is a necessity for the health and well-being of our communities.”
The renovations were applauded by some members of the community who said these changes would also help baseball be more age-accessible to the neighborhood.
“This was not simply renovation, it was smart renovation,” said Eddie Albert, President, Prospect Park Baseball Association. “By turning the diamonds into all clay infields with improved drainage, grooming the fields for play will be easier and more games will be played. By resizing the clay infields, all ages will have greater access to play. This is a perfect example of how great things can result from a partnership between dedicated public officials and the people they serve.”