The girls use Juniper Valley Park as their home field. According to Steven Fiedler, chair of Community Board 5’s Parks Committee, the field was “full of weeds.”
“I help out when I can,” he said. “My main focus is to try to get these fields to where they were before I left four years ago. “It’s very difficult, we’re lacking machinery.”
After the softball team won a game against Metropolitan Campus High School, the coaches spoke with Fiedler. They agreed to come with the girls to help Fiedler clean up the field.
Evangelia Papacostas, co-coach of the team and the coordinator of student activities at Maspeth High School, said the girls volunteered twice in two weeks.
“The girls were planting some flowers around the trees, we were also drawing the lines on the softball fields,” she said. “We picked out weeds on the softball field, and got the field in playing condition.”
The entire softball team participated in the activity, and the coaches counted it as a practice. It worked out for the students as well because they’re required to have 60 hours of community service by graduation, Papacostas said.
“One of Maspeth’s core values is goodness, and that falls into community service,” she said. “Doing good for the communities you live in and the people around you.”
At their next home game, Papacostas said, the team can point to their improved ball field and say they played a role to beautify the park.
“We want our kids to grow up in a beautiful, safe community,” she said. “It’s important for them to help keep it that way.”