NEWBURGH – The City of Newburgh is pleased to announce several critical improvements to the iconic Delano-Hitch Recreation Park. In 1916, Mrs. Annie Delano Hitch (aunt of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt) donated the land to the City of Newburgh. The 26-acre piece of land was initially used as a “driving park.”
Delano-Hitch will remain closed for the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 outbreak. However, the City of Newburgh and its Department of Public Works will use this time to conduct significant maintenance and make long-overdue repairs to more fully prepare the site to re-open in 2021.
The park’s improvements will give City residents access to quality outdoors space that can accommodate more recreation options for youth while being more efficiently maintained by the City. The renovated park will re-open in time for the 2021 season. Initial renovations began in late May, and included the removal of sections of fencing to expand select areas into a larger multi-field park. Those same areas are fed using an underground irrigation system, and City staff are presently conducting an inventory of the park’s irrigation zones.
Repairs are being made to pipes and sprinkler heads to allow the fields to be watered and maintained as summer approaches. The City also plans on laying new sod and hydro-seeding multiple fields to ensure safety for recreation participants, and protect the playing surface against wear from regular use. In addition to critical upgrades to the baseball and soccer fields, the funds will also allow for repair of fencing surrounding the stadium and parking lots. The City will prioritize the utilization of in-house staff as a cost-saving measure.
The 26-acre Delano-Hitch Recreation Park off of Washington Street includes a 2,000 capacity baseball stadium, a soccer field, a men’s softball diamond, three little league baseball diamonds, four basketball courts, an Aquatic Center, two playgrounds, horseshoe pitches, a soccer/football field, a 1,870-square foot skateboard park, the Fast Pitch Softball Hall of Fame, and the multi-purpose Activity Center. The Aquatic Center is located at the corner of Washington Street and Route 9W/Robinson Avenue and includes a 25-foot water slide, 25-meter pool, mushroom spray setup, and a changing facility with lockers and showers.
The site is home to the City’s summer recreation programming and multiple seasonal sports leagues, which are held from April through November. When not used for sporting events, the fields provide space for large community events including National Night Out and the annual Easter Egg Hunt.
The historic Delano-Hitch Recreation Park has been a beloved site for Newburghers for over 100 years. The earliest version of the park had only two baseball diamonds and a children’s play area. In the 1990s, the site hosted a Kenny Rogers concert as well as WWE events.
The site has been home to multiple local semi-professional leagues including the Newburgh Raiders, Newburgh Nukes, and the Newburgh Nitehawks. Major improvements to the site in the past five years include the construction of basketball hoops and the skateboard park at the site’s west end.