Vassar Field is turfed over and ready to go!

Photo by Daniel Jackovino
Mayor Michael Venezia officially opened a newly turfed Vassar Field on Friday, March 12. To his right is Michael Sceurman, the director of parks, recreation and cultural affairs.

BLOOMFIELD, NJ — Mayor Michael Venezia cut the ceremonial ribbon Friday, March 10, for a newly turfed Vassar Field. Also upgraded and opened for the season was the Carla D. Ward Field, at Clark Pond South.
Sceurman said the funding for the improvements came from a $503,000 Green Acres grant the town matched by 25 percent or $167,000. This came from capital funds. The township has applied for a supplemental Green Acres grant, in the amount of $396,000, to recoup that 25 percent and pay for new fencing and consulting fees. Both parks will now have turf infields.
“The beauty of the Carla D. Ward project,” Sceurman said, “was that in the past it was a clay infield. Now it’s not susceptible to bad weather. Our goal was to get both fields done before the season and we did. That’s quite remarkable.
“Anytime we have the opportunity to use capital funds, I try to jump on the grants. If we don’t have to use taxpayer money, it’s a win-win. The kids will play more games, play safer and the fields will need less maintenance.”
Sceurman expressed satisfaction that both replaced fields had been installed in 2007 and lasted 15 years. He credits the Bloomfield Department of Public Works, with its monthly preventive maintenance, for this. For a deep cleaning of the fields, an outside vendor is used.
Sceurman said another maintenance consideration is safety and each spring the fields are given a “G-Max Test.” This measures field softness and the results must comply with national safety standards.
“A lot of things go into a field,” he said. “You just can’t throw your kids out there on a turf field.”