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Department of Environmental Protection and FC Harlem Lions Partner to Bring New Youth Soccer Field to West Harlem

Renderings of the New Field and Photos are Available on DEP’s Flickr page

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) recently joined with the FC Harlem Lions, a Harlem-based non-profit youth development soccer organization, and Chelsea FC stars Ashley Cole and Michael Essien to announce plans for a new covered soccer field to be built on DEP property adjacent to the North River Wastewater Treatment Plant.

The $2.5 million field is expected to be constructed of synthetic turf and enclosed with a galvanized steel tensile fabric structure that is open air at its base and at its southern end. The field will be located between the elevated Henry Hudson Parkway and Amtrak’s railroad tracks to the east. The West 145th Street Bridge, which provides access to Riverbank State Park, runs overhead directly to the south of the site. The new field will operate in addition to an open-air field FC Harlem Lions currently operate one block south of the proposed site.

“FC Harlem Lions has been a great partner of DEP’s in activating underutilized space surrounding the North River Wastewater Treatment Plant through their strong community-based programming,” said DEP Commissioner Vincent Sapienza. “We are looking forward to partnering with them to provide a new recreational amenity in Harlem.”

“FC Harlem with the support of our Football Development Partner, Chelsea Football Club Foundation and commercial partners Delta Airlines, Yokohama Tires and Chase, are proud to expand upon our existing partnership with DEP to provide this covered soccer pitch in West Harlem,” said Executive Director of FC Harlem Irv Smalls. “The development of this recreational facility from an unconventional space creates more opportunities for disadvantaged youth in the community and NYC to improve their healthy lifestyle outcomes.”

There are also plans to incorporate green infrastructure into the design by managing stormwater runoff via crushed stone French drains along the east and west sides of the tensile structure that lead to a stone infiltration gallery beneath the field, a system which has been designed to infiltrate in excess of a two-year storm event. The design was recently approved by the Public Design Commission.

The North River Wastewater Treatment plant is built on a 28-acre reinforced concrete platform over the Hudson River and went into operation in 1986. It rests on 2,300 caissons pinned into bedrock up to 230 feet beneath the river. The roof of the building is the home of Riverbank State Park, a popular recreational facility with three swimming pools, an amphitheater, an athletic center, a skating rink, a restaurant, and sports fields. The plant provides wastewater treatment for the hundreds of thousands of people who live and work in, or visit, the west side of Manhattan, from Bank Street in Greenwich Village to Inwood Hill at the island’s northern tip.

FC Harlem was established in 1991 to provide disadvantaged youth ages 5-19 opportunities to play the world’s game in Harlem. Since 2004, FC Harlem has expanded on the mission to focus on developing quality players and leadership skills that will be transferable on and off the field.

DEP manages New York City’s water supply, providing approximately 1 billion gallons of high quality drinking water each day to more than 9 million residents, including 8.5 million in New York City. The water is delivered from a watershed that extends more than 125 miles from the city, comprising 19 reservoirs and three controlled lakes. Approximately 7,000 miles of water mains, tunnels and aqueducts bring water to homes and businesses throughout the five boroughs, and 7,500 miles of sewer lines and 96 pump stations take wastewater to 14 in-city treatment plants. DEP has nearly 6,000 employees, including almost 1,000 in the upstate watershed. In addition, DEP has a robust capital program, with a planned $20.7 billion in investments over the next 10 years that will create up to 3,000 construction-related jobs per year. For more information, visit nyc.gov/dep, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.