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City of Hartford Partners with Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation to Build City’s First Synthetic Surface Youth Recreation Park

(November 19, 2013) - Today, Mayor Pedro E. Segarra officially marked the beginning of construction on the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation Youth Development Park in the City’s Clay-Arsenal neighborhood. The facility, part of the Downtown North development plan, is one of three new youth recreation parks built in partnership with the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation. The parks feature an all-weather, low maintenance synthetic surface, and will accommodate softball, baseball, football, and soccer. The other parks will be located at the Annie Fisher Montessori Magnet School at 280 Plainfield St, and Hyland Park. Construction is scheduled to be complete by spring 2014.

“This is an exciting and important project,” said Mayor Segarra. “I’m especially pleased with how quickly everything has come together. I want to thank the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation for providing their expertise. City parks are sacred community spaces. This will be an opportunity for a community that truly deserves it.”

The City has contributed almost $4 million of this year’s capital improvement budget for the construction of the three parks, bringing the total investment in park infrastructure to $17.6 million since 2010. In addition to ongoing upkeep and ADA compliance features, parks across the city underwent restoration this summer including; Cronin Park Playground, Goodwin Park Pond House, Hyland Park Playground, Keney Woodlands Playground, Pulaski Mall Playground, Sigourney Square Playground and Willie Ware Playground.

The partnership with the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation is part of their national Youth Development Park initiative, which aims to develop unique, multi-purpose, low maintenance fields with synthetic turf to provide a cohesive recreational and educational experience for underserved young people across the United States. There are currently youth development parks operating in Maryland, Texas, Virginia, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Massachusetts and Minnesota. The Ripken Foundation will continue to work with the City post-construction to create baseball- and softball-themed programs to address a variety of youth development needs that include character development, health and physical education.

“When we started the Foundation twelve years ago, we wanted to help kids and pay tribute to our dad,” said Cal Ripken, Jr., Baseball Hall-of-Famer and co-founder of the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation. “However, we never imagined we would be able to do so much for kids across the country. We now have a model that we are bringing to many other communities. I want to thank all of the people who helped make this possible and we are thrilled that children in Hartford will benefit from this wonderful field.”

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For Immediate Release: November 19, 2013
Contact: Maribel La Luz
p. (860) 757-9731
c. (860) 539-5485
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HARTFORD CITY HALL ADDRESS: 550 Main Street, Hartford, CT 06103 PHONE: (860)757-9311 HOURS: 8AM - 5PM