Nassau County’s first synthetic baseball fields will be open for play starting this weekend at Hewlett’s .
“Now it’s a complete athletic complex,” said Mike Martino, spokesperson for the Nassau County Department of Public Works. “Grant Park was already a hidden gem, and this puts it on a whole other level.”
The project to Grant Park’s three fields started in September and has cost about $2.7 million. The synthetic fields will provide a savings in the future with reduced maintenance costs, according to DPW officials. A batting cage, a new playground and adult exercise equipment were also added to the park.
The biggest improvement with the fields is significantly better drainage, according to county officials. Whereas the old fields flooded easily, synthetic fields can be ready for play about five minutes after the rain stops. The entire perimeter of the fields has a 12-inch draining system.
Geese also don’t seem to like the fields, which should mitigate the old fields’ droppings problem.
There’s still a little work left at Grant Park. The walkways need to be cleaned, and the walkway’s grass patches need to grow.
Use of the fields is by permit only. The rate for profit leagues with players 17 years or older is $12 an hour, while profit adult leagues and non-league players will have to pay $24 an hour. Use of the fields for little leagues is free.
An opening ceremony will be held at the park on Saturday on noon. The first games will take place this Sunday.