Ballplayers will have more fun and less mud with the opening of a new synthetic turf field at Newport Hills Park. The improved playing surface replaces a grass field that often turned into a slippery mess during the rainy months.
Neighbors and the general public can mark completion of the renovated field and several other park upgrades at the official opening on Saturday, June 11, from 8:30 to 10 a.m. The celebration will feature refreshments, a ribbon cutting, information about youth sports programs in Bellevue, and an inaugural softball game.
The turf will allow for year-round use by youth baseball, softball and soccer teams. The field also will be open to the community for general recreation when not scheduled for team use.
As part of the project, the existing lights were upgraded to reduce "spill" and for neighbors. Other improvements include: the creation of a pedestrian connection along the east edge of the park; ballfield fencing and backstop replacements; restroom upgrades; and relocation of the baseball infield to improve traffic and pedestrian flow.
The $1.5 million project was funded by the 2008 Parks & Natural Areas Levy, which included $3 million for synthetic turf installation at Wilburton Hill Park and Newport Hills Park.
Installing synthetic turf has been a high-priority park project for many years. In 2005, the city’s first synthetic turf field was installed at Robinswood Park, more than doubling the capacity of the field by making it available for year-round use.
Synthetic turf satisfies a need for more high-quality fields without increasing maintenance and operational costs, since it requires no costly mowing, watering, fertilizing or re-seeding.
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