A turf field is coming to Monsignor Owens Park in Nutley.
On Thursday, Nutley recreation officials broke ground on a 169,000-square-foot synthetic turf field on Owens field. The field will have two regulation-sized softball fields, a regulation sized football field and short-sided soccer fields for younger children.
A walking track is going around the new field, which will allow for full use of the space, said Nutley Commissioner Mario Tucci. The field and park are located across from the township’s Parks and Recreation building at 44 Park Ave.
Tucci was on hand for the groundbreaking, along with representatives from the state Green Acres program, township recreation employees and parents and children who celebrated the new field.
Tucci called the start of work, "the last piece of the puzzle."
Parents at the groundbreaking said they can’t wait to walk around the new track, while their children tossed softballs, laughed and kicked around a soccer ball after the official ceremony.
In April, commissioners approved a $1.28 million contract for a new upgraded field approved to be largely funded by a $750,000 grant from the state Green Acres program.
Dakota Excavating of Hackensack is constructing the field, and started in late June with an end date expected in August, Tucci said.
The park's fields are used by high school varsity tennis, soccer and lacrosse teams in addition to dozens of year-round program sponsored by the Parks and Recreation Department, Nutley officials said.