Sep. 6, 2022 By Michael Dorgan
A badly worn-out Woodside athletic field is about to undergo a near $1.3 million makeover.
The artificial playing field at Big Bush Park, located between 61st and 64th Street by Laurel Hill Boulevard, will be ripped up and a new high-quality synthetic turf surface will go down in its place next year, the Parks Dept. has announced.
The playing field at the park consists of one full-sized soccer pitch, which also has markings for baseball. The soccer field is often divided up to facilitate smaller soccer games.
The repair work, which will start and finish next spring, will cost $1.27 million in total and is being fully funded by the mayor’s office. QNS was first to report the story.
The move comes after the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA), a soccer federation based in Nassau County, called on the city to carry out the revamp citing the field’s torn surface.
Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations at ENYYSA, said last week that the current condition of the surface poses a threat to the safety of players who run up and down the field.
Vogt said that the ENYYSA’s youth division, the Metrokids Youth Soccer League, has been voicing concerns about the field for months since it often hosts games for its members at the park.
The Metrokids Youth Soccer League even started a GoFundMe page in May to pay for repairs. The fundraiser only managed to generate around $1,700 but the campaign helped highlight their cause.
Vogt said that the field has been patched up in the past, but its condition continues to deteriorate — necessitating a major overhaul.
“Unfortunately, the surface is now very worn, and the remaining turf has divots, a danger to the players who run up and down on the field,” Vogt said.
He said that on Saturday, Aug. 27, the Metrokids Youth Soccer League held a big tournament at the nearby Frank Principe Park in Maspeth – while at the same time the Big Bush Park playing field was virtually empty.
“The soccer field had no activity… as the field is badly in need of repairs,” Vogt said.
Vogt said the current surface of the Big Bush Park field is Astroturf, an older type of all-weather playing surface. He said that many fields now have state-of-the-art synthetic turf surfaces.
The Parks Dept. confirmed to the Queens Post that the new surface at Big Bush Park will be a durable and high-quality synthetic surface.
The Parks Dept said the repair work is being viewed as a high-priority project.
“We thank the community for their advocacy and patience as we move this project forward,” the agency said in a statement.
The resurfacing will come about five years after a different section of the park —to the north of the playing field—underwent a $1.8 million revamp to make way for a children’s play area and passive recreation.