Mayor Miro Weinberger, BHS Varsity Softball Team, Partners Celebrate Leddy Softball Field Grand Re-Opening


May 8, 2014
Contact:  Mike Kanarick

Mayor Miro Weinberger, BHS Varsity Softball Team, Partners Celebrate Leddy Softball Field Grand Re-Opening
BHS Team, Youth and Adult Community Leagues to Benefit from Major Penny for Parks Project

Burlington, VT – Mayor Miro Weinberger today caught the first pitch from Burlington High School senior Lucy Bradshaw, following a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem by Burlington resident Elizabeth Pattison, at the grand re-opening of the brand new, reconstructed softball field at Leddy Park.  The ceremony took place ahead of the BHS Varsity Softball team’s game versus North Country.  The field, previously plagued by poor drainage, excessive shade, and poor turf quality, was completely rebuilt and features a pronounced surface crown and underground drainage system, complete with significant science behind its topsoil and turf formula.  Paid for with Penny for Parks (PFP) funds, the successful completion of the field represents a major milestone for the invigorated PFP program and will result in community benefit for the BHS varsity team, as well as youth and adult leagues. 

“Today’s grand re-opening means that Burlington is again a City where you can play softball in the spring on a safe and reliable field,” said Mayor Weinberger.  “The rebuilt Leddy Park softball field is an important success for the City, for the Parks & Recreation Department, and for the Penny for Parks program.  I am proud of the high-quality improvements we have made to this facility, and I am pleased that Director Jesse Bridges and his team are moving Penny for Parks forward.”

BHS Athletic Director Jeanne Hulsen agreed with the Mayor, stating that the reconstructed field represents a “serious commitment to student athletes, their parents, the community, and is the result of successful collaboration and strong partnership between Burlington High School and the Parks & Recreation Department.  We now have a beautiful, reliable home field for the varsity softball team.”

Parks & Recreation Director Jesse Bridges sees this project as an important step in the evolution of the Department and a great example of what PFP funding accomplishes for the community, stating:  “I am thrilled to see this field begin its new life and to see our Parks & Recreation team working hard to improve our facilities and pushing for higher standards that not only improve the experience for the players, but also lower long-term maintenance costs.  Quality athletic facilities provide opportunities for everyone in Burlington to play in a safe environment.”

Penny for Parks is an annual funding plan for parks capital improvement projects, providing the $233,000 in funding necessary for the Leddy Park softball field project.  Established in 2008, PFP was approved by voters as a parks improvement fund and is supported by a dedicated tax.  PFP is a short- and long-range financial planning and project implementation tool developed to address community needs for the ongoing improvement of parks facilities.  Through this process, the Department is able to schedule the implementation of improvements over time and better able to identify phased funding strategies.  Over the last two years, the Department has eliminated a long backlog of PFP projects, improving over 40 parks throughout the City.

In addition to the BHS Varsity Softball team, the grand re-opening was attended by BHS officials, Parks & Recreation staff, BHS softball fans, and Burlington community members. 


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