All South Orange and Maplewood athletic fields will be closed for the season as of November 11.
Beginning on that date, contractors will be working throughout the community aerating, topdressing and seeding worn athletic field areas. In addition, turf blankets will be placed on Cameron Field, New Waterlands, and Meadowland Park in South Orange and Memorial Park, Ritzer Field, Borden Park and Chyzowych Field in Maplewood. The purpose of turf blankets is to extend the growing season for natural grass surfaces, enhancing playability next season. These blankets will remain on the fields until early spring.
This field work is part of the continuing effort to improve athletic fields in South Orange and Maplewood that are shared by recreation and school district programs as well as community sports groups. Funding for the work is provided by a Field Fees Trust Fund established in 2016-17 whereby field use fees have been charged to all individuals and groups using the facilities, through their organization and/or registration fees. The Board of Education also contributes annually to this trust fund on behalf of all high school athletes sharing the fields.
These field fees also funded the improvement of the Cameron Field baseball diamond in 2017, and the Meadowlands #3, New Waterlands #2 and #3 baseball/softball diamonds in 2019. Next year, baseball/softball field improvements are planned for two Maplewood Fields, Memorial Park #1 and Maplecrest #1, and improved care for the natural grass surfaces will continue. Improvement in the soil, reestablishing grass plants and consistently maintaining natural grass turf areas should improve the condition and playability of the athletic fields over time. The cooperation of residents and all community athletic groups is greatly appreciated and key to the long term success of this field improvement program.
Any questions can be directed to Kate Schmidt, Director of the South Orange Department of Recreation at 973-378-7754.