Springtime Brings Renewed Life to Old Grounds

By Nathan Stone

National grid employees cleaning debris at the tennis court, Schenectady, NY

Sometimes, it just takes some elbow grease and hard work to shine a tarnished gem.

Back in the day, the main tennis court at Schenectady’s Central Park saw tennis greats Serena Williams, Martina Navratilova, Ivan Lendl, Boris Becker and Pete Sampras playing exhibition and match games in front of packed crowds.  Right next to the court,  the “A” Diamond hosted Buck Ewing and the Mohawk Giants, a Negro League baseball club that enjoyed great success there.

Now there is little left of the grandeur that used to reside there.  Vines, shrubs and broken planks now sit where thousands of spectators once watched professional tennis and baseball in the Electric City.

Thanks to a $1.3 million capital improvement plan, the park is being brought back to its former self.  The money will cover much needed repairs and upgrades, but there is still a lot of work to be done.

On Friday, April 21, over 50 local National Grid employees participated in cleaning up Central Park to honor Earth Day. The volunteers did outside cleanup and spring preparations, which included raking and vine removal at the court, mulching at the greenhouse, vine and debris removal at the “A” diamond, as well as beautifying the grounds for public use.

In addition to eastern regional director Laurie Poltynski (who rolled up her sleeves and grabbed a rake), Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy and NY Assembly Member Phil Steck also stopped by to say thank you to our employees for the hard work they were doing.

National Grid has a proud tradition of volunteerism through individual commitment and Power to Serve, an employee volunteer program encourages stewardship and community service. The program offers tremendous support for Earth Day and other volunteer environmental efforts each year in the communities where employees live and work.

You can check out some pictures here and watch the opening “ceremonies” below.







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