What's Happening?

What's Happening?

Pavilion: the main piece of the puzzle

Ed Varno has lived next to the ballfield on Fourth Street for over 30 years. 

For years, he could hear children playing baseball from his home in Schenectady’s Bellevue neighborhood. But then the games ceased, and the longtime Little League field fell into disrepair. Stagnant water flooded the dugout, and plants threatened to swallow the bleachers and clubhouse. 

Over the past several years, the fields have been transformed back into an attractive and welcoming space for youth activities, thanks in large part to the hard work of Varno and other residents. 

Their dedication helped them win $50,000 from The Schenectady Foundation’s Thriving Neighborhoods Challenge grant program.

Uploaded Image: /vs-uploads/2022-blog-images/pumpkins 2-1.jpg    Uploaded Image: /vs-uploads/2022-blog-images/Pumpkins-1.jpg    Uploaded Image: /vs-uploads/2022-blog-images/Hay Maze resize-1.jpg  


A new pavilion, funded with TNC money, was erected just in time for a big neighborhood party on the ballfield. Shown above a hay maze at the perfect height to keep smaller kids guessing while dozens of pumpkins were painted at the event.  Shown below are many of those who worked at the neighborhood party. Varno is at left, standing in the second row. Dobbs is in the first row, kneeling at right.Uploaded Image: /vs-uploads/2022-blog-images/313421336_1111255483093194_753204060397101039_n.jpg

The structure will complement the progress made by Varno and other volunteers, making it an excellent example of what the Thriving Neighborhoods Challenge is all about. 

“This is what I’ve been waiting for, this pavilion,” Varno said. “It’s been a long journey, and the pavilion is the main piece of the puzzle. It will give people a place to gather.” 

Schenectady resident Robert Dobbs has been a big part of efforts to revitalize the ballfield. He envisions a place where youth programming and community events are a regular occurrence and is excited to see his dream come to fruition.  

“We’re going back to that old-school time, where everybody was out here together,” he said. 

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