The first night football game for New Providence High School under the new field lights at Lieder Field on September 9th will mark the end of a five-year quest to build a fully functional athletic facility in our community. It also marks a turning point in how we will work and play together in New Providence in the future.

This success could not have been achieved without the vision, inspiration, and hard work of many dedicated volunteers who collectively navigated and surpassed many hurdles along the way, and generous private donors who contributed resources when needed the most. It also involved a synchronization of the Board of Education, Borough Council, the County Freeholders and local organizations.

A brief history begins in 2007, when the Borough released the Recreation Master Plan (RMP), a study of field conditions, usage, and number of residents participating in organized recreation programs. The results demonstrated a need for five synthetic turf fields or three synthetic fields with lights to accommodate New Providence’s growing recreation programs. As with many local communities, New Providence lacked the funds to make these improvements.  A year earlier, the New Providence Athletic Foundation (NPAF) was formed as a 501c3 non-profit organization, and subsequently gathered leadership representing the recreation, educational and government organizations within the community, forming the New Providence Partnership for Recreation (NPPR). Working in collaboration toward a common goal, funds were raised through private and club donations, grants, golf outings, and evening events which made the installation of FieldTurf and Musco focused lighting on Lieder Field at New Providence High School possible.

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But the work is not done. Over 2500 kids use Lieder Field every year - your children are surely among them. From among the 170 new kindergartners enrolled this year within the school district, the next generation of athletes to use Lieder will emerge.  The NPAF and NPPR remain dependent on your generosity to help repay the debt remaining on the Lieder Field project. You can buy your “piece” of Lieder by downloading the flyer from www.newprovaf.organd sending in your donation or donating on-line through the NPAF website.   Your contributions will be memorialized not only on a commemorative plaque to be displayed at Lieder Field, but also in the faces of our children as they get their opportunity to play on our only fully functional athletic facility.  Please consider giving what you can to help us meet these debt obligations.

The NPAF is also hosting the 2nd annual Septemberfest fundraiser on September 17th from 7-11pm at the New Providence Senior Center.    There will be a full buffet dinner, open bar, Tricky Tray, silent auction and 50/50 raffles along with chances to win a Weber grill, a 46” LCD flat screen television and other fabulous merchandise.   This year’s event will surely be another sellout and seats are limited so please secure your tickets today.   Information for Septemberfest is available at www.newprovaf.org.

It will take a village to complete the vision and make the Recreation Master Plan a reality.  Please be a part of making it happen.