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Sunday: Grand Opening of Harrison Little League

Apr 08, 2022

The Grand Re-Opening of the Harrison Little League will be this Sunday, April 10, 2022, with a ribbon-cutting at 1 pm followed by a Soccer game at 2 pm. Only in Harrison would it be appropriate to do a Grand Re-Opening of a Baseball Little League field and have an Opening Day Soccer Game.  Harrison is after all SoccerTown USA.  Maybe someone should have invited to the Grand Opening some West Hudson Soccer legends like John Harkes, Tony Meola, and Tab Ramos (in alphabetical order because each deserves to be first on the list) who honed their skills several blocks away in the inner city training soccer field affectionally called “The Courts” next to Liberty Park on South Frank E. Rodgers Blvd. just up the block from Harrison Avenue.  Back in the 1980s, there was no artificial turf.  It was blacktop.

The newly renovated Harrison Little League which ran over budget because of design changes and the necessity to remove and cap contaminated soil on the site has cost upwards of 1.2 million dollars. The Town of Harrison has not released final costs numbers.

New Playground at Harrison Little League Field

Before the improvements, The Harrison Little League stadium was a natural grass baseball field with a dugout.  There was a concession stand but not much else. The Harrison Recreation Department during the design phase opted to have an artificial turf field installed.  The rationale is decreased maintenance.  Given that the project demolished all of the pre-existing Little League structures and had a clean slate to start from, the town administration could have requested a state-of-the-art grass field design with built-in drainage and an “underground sprinkler” system that would help with water drainage and be environmentally friendly. Maybe capturing rainwater and reusing it for irrigation. As it turns out, contaminated soil had to be removed and a concrete cap placed increasing the costs of the project.  An opportunity to have a showcase  environmental field was missed.  Artificial turf also needs to be maintained and drainage issues do not disappear just because artificial turf is installed.  Artificial turf allows less drainage than natural grass.

The rehabilitation project did incorporate a Soccer Field in the design.  By putting both stripings for a baseball field and an adjacent soccer field.  Only one game can be played at a time, however.  Given the limited space that makes a lot of sense.  There is also a playground now at the Corner of Cleveland and Hiram Place. Restrooms and a viewing area are great editions.