Essex County Ivy Hill Park To Get Upgraded Softball/Little League Field And Tennis Courts
Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. announced two projects totaling almost two million dollars to upgrade a softball/little league field and four tennis courts in Essex County Ivy Hill Park on Mon., July 13. Improvements to the Mike Sheppard, Sr. Field are being conducted through a partnership with Seton Hall University.
“Providing first-class recreation facilities and making sure our parks and open spaces continue to meet the needs of the community have been initiatives of my administration since day one,” said DiVincenzo. “The work we are doing at the tennis courts and softball/little league field are the latest phases to revitalize Ivy Hill Park. Essex County and Seton Hall University have enjoyed a long relationship, especially in this park. While our children and residents will enjoy the new facilities, Seton Hall’s athletic teams will benefit from the improved playing conditions. We are pleased to be partnering with the University on this latest phase.”
Seton Hall University Vice President and Director of Athletics Patrick Lyons said, “Providing a first-class experience to our student-athletes is a top priority, and our partnership with Essex County will help deliver a modern softball facility and tennis courts that will help us compete for Big East championships while also giving the Essex County community a terrific place to play.” “The improvements to Mike Sheppard, Sr. Field and the tennis courts will be the latest facility project our department has taken on over the last few years as we continue to show our recruits, fans, students and alumni that Seton Hall University is the perfect place to get a world-class education and compete at the highest level of athletics.”
Newark Mayor Ras Baraka said, “The improvements being done here create a winning situation for the county, city, community and university. People who use this park everyday can come here to watch a college game or use the field for little league contests.”
Dedicated to legendary Seton Hall University baseball coach Mike Sheppard, Sr. in 2012, the field received its last upgrade in 2005 as part of a project to improve all three fields in the park. Through this project, the field will be completely redone with a new synthetic grass surface; field amenities including distance markers, foul poles and bases; backstop; fencing around the field; bullpen and batting cages; dugout structure; bleachers with a press box and seating capacity of 700; upgrades to the scoreboard; storage building; drainage improvements and extensive landscaping.
The field upgrades are being funded with a contribution from Seton Hall University and funds from the Essex County Capital Budget. Work is scheduled to be completed in September.
The four tennis courts are being completely rebuilt with a new playing surface, surface coating, fencing, nets, lighting, drainage system and trash receptacles. The tennis court reconstruction is being funded through the Essex County Capital Budget. Work is also scheduled to be completed in September.
The Essex County Park System was created in 1895 and is the first county park system established in the United States. The Park System consists of more than 6,000 acres and has 22 parks, five reservations, an environmental center, a zoo, Treetop Adventure Course, ice skating rink, roller skating rink, three public golf courses, golf driving range, two miniature golf courses, three off-leash dog facilities, a castle and the Presby Memorial Iris Gardens. Essex County purchased land for Ivy Hill Park in 1927.