BERKELEY HEIGHTS- The Union County Freeholder Board joined with Mayor Angie Devanney, members of Township Council, youth and others in cutting the ribbon on the newly re-turfed multi-use field at Snyder Avenue Park on Wednesday. The field, originally installed in 2010, is used for Football, Soccer and Lacrosse.  In addition, design is underway to turf the existing baseball field with construction to commence in 2020. 

Along with Mayor Angie Devanney were Freeholder Chair Bette Jane Kowalski, Freeholders Sergio Granados and Alexander Mirabella, and local dignitaries in attendance including Council President Alvaro Medeiros, Councilwoman Susan Poage, Councilman Stephen Yellin, BOE President Doug Reinstein, BOE member Denis Smalley, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Melissa Varley, and Police Chief John DiPasquale.

"We are pleased to have joined with the Mayor and Township in celebrating the renewal of the multi-use field," said Freeholder Chair Bette Jane Kowalski. "This park has been an outstanding investment for the County, which transformed what was once a former industrial site, saving it from development, and creating a bustling recreation area for all."

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Freeholder Sergio Granados acknowledged Mayor Devanney for her role in asking the County to re-turf the field, which was worn after nearly a decade of usage. "This facility is truly a facility that benefits all from football to lacrosse to soccer and different types of sports," said Granados. "Not only teaching the fundamentals of sports but bringing individuals together, bringing families together. And making sure that we are continuing on the projection of moving our county forward in the right direction. I continue to look forward for this County to do projects on all sides of the County to benefit all residents in the County of Union."   

"Snyder Avenue Park is one of our best County recreational facilities, and it contains many amenities. Thousands use it every year, and we're pleased to make an improvement that will not only benefit Berkeley Heights, but all County residents who use this facility," said Granados.

Mayor Devanney said, "I have come full circle and feel great pride today." She held up a news clip from a press release dated October 14, 2004 announcing the 17 acre acquisition of what is known as Snyder Avenue Park. Once an industrial site, Union County purchased the Snyder Avenue facility in 2004, one of the earliest purchases made by the County's Open Space Trust Fund, and one of the largest at that time.  The purchase saved it from a plan to develop 259 residential units there.

"This park represents what a true partnership between local and county government can look for when elected officials work together for the betterment of all residents," said Mayor Devanney.

"As a mom who has served on the PAL Board and has two very active children, I understand the importance of recreational facilities in our community," said Mayor Devanney. "I would like to thank the Freeholders for this project. We look forward to the completion of the baseball field as well." A rendering of the future turf baseball field that will be installed in 2020 was unveiled.