Words by Michael DeSantis
Jun 22, 2022 – Patch.com
“There is really no greater joy in public service, than delivering recreational space like this one for our kids,” Supervisor Ed Wehrheim.
ST. JAMES, NY — The upgraded Gaynor Park Little League Field has opened in St. James, the Town of Smithtown announced.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on June 11, where Town of Smithtown Elected Officials, the Smithtown Recreation Department, and parks, buildings & grounds departments joined together with the St. James Smithtown Little League, former Mets MLB star and current Hofstra Head Coach Frank Catalanotto, former New York Jets NFL star Marty Lyons, and Gina Keely of the Paige Elizabeth Keely Foundation, in a ceremonial ribbon cutting at Championship Saturday.
Tomitz recognized the town’s leadership and partnership in upgrading the Little League field at Gaynor Park as well as the largest softball field at Moriches Park in St. James.
These improvements to the ballfields are the result of a private/public partnership with the St. James Smithtown Little League to maximize field time, and enhance the safety and overall experience for the town’s youth.
“There is really no greater joy in public service, than delivering recreational space like this one for our kids … where our future generations learn the fundamental life lessons of teamwork, dedication, friendship and respect,” Smithtown Supervisor Edward Wehrheim stated. “It has been a real pleasure and a privilege to work together with Rich Tomitz and the St. James Smithtown Little League, in building this spectacular field. Together with help from our talented Parks Department, we will continue forward with projects such as this, maintaining our commitment to improving recreational facilities throughout the township.”
Spider-Man with Smithtown officials at the Gaynor Park renovation ribbon-cutting ceremony on June 11 (Credit: Town of Smithtown)
The main Little League field at Gaynor Park is the first of two fields to be completed as part of the private/public partnership with the St. James Smithtown Little League. The field has been resurfaced with a 90-foot synthetic turf infield and has new upgrades for safety. The fencing has been raised more than 10 feet to protect spectators and passing vehicles from fly balls. Brick walkways with messages from supporters surround the new sidewalk, improving the overall aesthetics of the areas frequented by spectators. This latest addition to Gaynor Park complements previous work, which included new basketball and tennis courts in addition to a new state-of-the-art playground.
In addition to the completed work at Gaynor, the softball field at Moriches Park has also been renovated. The Smithtown Parks Department constructed a new dugout and backstop, and it plans to add new outfield fencing once materials arrive. The 90-foot synthetic turf infield replacement compliments previous park renovations at Moriches Park, which include the recent replacement of the turf fields at the Soccer Complex, a new soft splash pad at the waterpark, state-of-the-art playgrounds, interactive playhouse, new fencing surrounding the play areas, concrete sidewalks, LED user-friendly crosswalk, and landscaping.