On October 21, 2008 Bronx Borough Parks Commissioner Hector Aponte joined State Senator Jeff Klein, Assembly Member Jeffrey Dinowitz, Council Member Oliver Koppell, and DEP First Deputy Commissioner Steve Lawitts to break ground on $15 million in reconstruction to the 65-acre Parade Ground, a popular outdoor athletic field facility in Van Cortlandt Park. Officials also announced additional upcoming capital projects for a total $40 million investment in Van Cortlandt Park, all financed by $200 million in funds generated from the construction of the Croton Water Filtration Plant under the park’s Mosholu Golf Course Driving Range, through the New York City Department of Environmental Protection and the Municipal Water Finance Authority. The Mexican American Soccer League and Common Wealth Cricket League attended, while The Fordham School of the Arts Vocal Ensemble and Theodore Roosevelt Education Campus step dancing group provided entertainment.
“The venerable Van Cortlandt Park Parade Ground will be renovated thanks to a $15 million allocation from the $200 million investment in Bronx parks financed by DEP Croton Mitigation Funds,” said Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe. “Throughout history, the site of the Parade Ground has been home to Native American villages, a Dutch farm, a military training ground, and polo fields. Today, the refurbished fields will offer New Yorkers a state of the art athletic facility for soccer, football, rugby, lacrosse, baseball, softball and more, spanning 65 acres in New York City’s fourth largest park.”
The 27 existing soccer, baseball/softball, and cricket fields will be re-graded and redesigned in a new layout to maximize play space, enhance field quality, and improve sight lines. A new irrigation and drainage system will also be installed. In addition, portions of the cross-country trail will be improved, and a new synthetic turf football field is being installed at Van Cortlandt Stadium.