BY JAIMIE JULIA WINTERS
The newly-renovated ball field in Mountainside Park reopened Friday, Oct. 5, with Mayor Jackson throwing the first pitch.
The recreation baseball program players joined the mayor and township officials to get their first pitches out as well on the new field.
The improvements were needed to alleviate swampy conditions that occur after rain.
Last year, the Montclair Parks Recreation and Cultural Affairs Advisory Board made the recommendation of a new drainage system and more for the baseball field at Upper Mountain Avenue after the group toured 16 parks to assess needs.
“Right now it’s like having baseball games in water down there,” Fourth Ward Councilwoman Renée Baskerville, who is on the Montclair Parks Recreation and Cultural Affairs Advisory Board, said last year.
The field had uneven surfaces that were dangerous for the athletes, Baskerville said, calling the park renovations overdue.
Let it Grow, Inc. of River Edge, was the lowest bidder at $568,106. Suburban Consulting Engineers, Inc. of Flanders oversaw the construction, at a cost of $24,648. The contracts’ funding comes from the 2018 Capital Budget.
Improvements to the baseball field at Mountainside Park included:
- Drainage and grading improvements,
- new batters cage,
- additional bleachers,
- infield synthetic turf,
- irrigation system, and
- pathway modifications
The Montclair Baseball and Softball Club uses the field. The non-profit organization founded in 1997 manages programs in which more than 1,000 Montclair residents participate each year. The programs include nine travel baseball teams, four travel softball teams, T-Ball, fall baseball and softball teams and numerous instructional clinics.