Harckham Announces State Grant for Park Renovations in New Castle

State Sen. Pete Harckham with (l-r) New Castle Town Board Member Lori Morton, Board Member and Supervisor-Elect Lisa Katz, Board Member Lauren Levin and Acting Supervisor Jeremy Saland

Chappaqua, NY – New York State Senator Pete Harckham announced this week that he was able to secure $100,000 in state grant funding for renovations and improvements to the popular soccer fields at Amsterdam Park, located on Hoags Cross Road in the Town of New Castle.

“Parks and recreation areas are so important for residents’ well-being, especially as people look to be outdoors more, and that means maintaining the infrastructure is a must for these well-used grounds and facilities,” said Harckham. “The upgrades coming to the soccer fields at Amsterdam Park will benefit community members in so many ways, and I’m pleased to have been able to partner with town officials in getting improvements at the park underway.”

Harckham made his surprise holiday announcement during the Town of New Castle Board’s December 14 meeting, where he presented Senate Proclamations to retiring Councilmembers Lauren Levin and Lori Morton and also recognized the Town’ s certification as a Bronze Level Climate Smart Community with a Proclamation as well.

Amsterdam Park is home to two of the Town of New Castle’s three soccer fields. The fields serve as practice and ‘home” fields for the youth soccer program, which serves over 400 children between the ages of 8-14, and also for a smaller lacrosse program of about 40 players between 10 and 11 years old. 

Because of heavy regular use of the fields throughout the year, the turf has suffered to the extent that one of the fields at Amsterdam Park was deemed unusable and needed to be closed off for athletic use after a child tripped on an exposed sprinkler head during a soccer match and was injured.

The Town of New Castle plans to use the state grant funding to completely renovate the damaged playing field at Amsterdam Park. The field will be skinned, fresh topsoil installed and the field graded to completely conceal the recessed sprinkler heads and allow proper drainage. Sod will then be installed and allowed to set, so that the field will be playable in the late spring of 2022. 

“Senator Harckham has always gone to bat for New Castle, both for our parks system and for the greater good,” said Jeremy Saland, acting town supervisor in New Castle. “The facilities at Amsterdam Park are a big asset to our town, and maintaining the fields in their best condition benefits all of our residents.”

“We are thrilled and grateful that Senator Harckham was able to secure this state grant to support improvements at Amsterdam Park on the West End of New Castle,” added Morton. “The funds will support the rebuilding and re-sodding of our fields.  Our Amsterdam fields are used very heavily through the year by our girls and boys soccer and lacrosse teams, as well as for our Town of New Castle Summer Camp.  This renovation will ensure the continued safe play of our children and all visitors to Amsterdam Park.”

“New Castle’s soccer fields at Amsterdam Park are in desperate need of repair,” said Town Board Member and Supervisor-Elect Lisa Katz. “Thanks to Senator Harckham and this generous SAM grant, the Town will be able to repair and renovate these heavily utilized fields so that our youth soccer players and summer camp participants will have safe fields on which to play. It is always wonderful to see the State enabling important infrastructure improvements in our community.

The awarded grant funding was secured within the State and Municipal Facilities Program (SAM), which is among the grant programs administered by the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY) to support community and economic development.