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New Ballfields Coming to Corlear’s Hook Park

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A large swath of the asphalt play areas in Corlear’s Hook Park are being demolished this week to make way for new artificial turf ballfields and other amenities expected to be completed in the fall.

Construction fencing and bulldozers arrived Feb. 28 at the 4-acre riverside park, which runs along FDR Drive at Cherry and Jackson streets in the Lower East Side. The 7-month-long project–the park’s first capital improvements since 1996–will create ballfields and other amenities and cost $2 million. The funding comes from the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation.

The project includes: conversion of the existing asphalt ballfield into a synthetic turf Little League/soccer/football field with an improved drainage system; new ADA-accessible dugouts and drinking fountains; bike racks; and a misting station, says parks department spokesperson Philip Abramson.

There will also be a synthetic turf batting cage and bullpen, bleachers and benches for spectator seating and new security lighting. A new perimeter fence will be built, existing concrete walls reconstructed, and new plantings will be provided as well, Abramson says.

When the project was approved in 2007, it raised some ire among members of Community Board 3, according to a report in the Downtown Express at the time. CB3 members and other local community leaders complained they were not consulted by the parks department and the LMDC, which approved and funded the improvements at the request of the Downtown Little League.

Separate from the new project, parks officials have been working with the newly formed East River Dog Run group, which has organized an effort to improve the off-leash dog run there. Construction fences erected last week took dog-run users by surprise when they sprung up around a large section of the park adjacent to the dog run, cutting the area off from its running water source and storage.

In an e-mail to the group, parks liaison Kieishsha Garnes assured users of the dog park that the situation would be corrected and cheered on the dog run effort.

“We do apologize and I will surely keep you updated. Not to worry, you will be able to have water for the run. Please do not let this deter you,” she said.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. They should build proper dog runs there, there are exposed electric wires, shaky fencing and general filth. Dogs get sick in there and many users are pigs who don’t pick up after their dogs. They def need to stop hassling dog owners who go on the grass. Central park dogs are allowed to run on the grass, but no in ER park.

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