South Bronx residents await long-promised parks near Yankee Stadium

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Helen Foster and Heritage Field rendering

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As the Yankees begin their 2011 season today at Yankee Stadium, the community surrounding the ballpark continues to wonder when the city will fulfill its promise to replace the nearby ballfields it tore down to make room for the $1.5 billion behemoth in 2009, according to the New York Times. State law required the city to replace the 22 acres of parks cleared during stadium construction, and most acres have been replaced in parks throughout the city, but the highlight of the project was supposed to be $51 million Heritage Field across the street from the new stadium. But little progress has been made, and neighbors are frustrated, particularly those affiliated with school baseball teams dependent on those fields. City parks commissioner Adrian Benepe said the city is working extra-hard to make the parks “first-rate,” but local New York City Council member Helen Foster noted: “They built the new stadium in record time, but building replacement parkland for the community is literally dragging… I guarantee you if this was another neighborhood, this project would have been fast-tracked.” [NYT]