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Miami Springs

Miami Springs baseball, football fields getting new, energy-efficient lighting


Special to the Miami Herald

Little Leaguers will have better lighting during night games at Prince Field next season, thanks to a $130,000 grant from state and federal agencies.

Miami Springs’ oldest ball field, located at Westward and Apache Drives, will have its 12 light poles outfitted with 34 energy-efficient lights made possible by an award from the U.S. Department of Energy and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

“That means I can play baseball with my daddy and brother at night,” said Maria Hernandez, 9, of Hialeah, who frequents the park on weekends with her family.

Prince Field, home of the city’s Little League team, was built in 1960. It sits on 3.5 acres and includes two baseball fields, a football field and a playground.

“We’ll have computer-controlled scheduling for additional energy savings,” Mayor Zavier Garcia said through a city-issued press release. “The new fixtures will also greatly reduce off-site spill light in the neighborhood.”

The existing lights, installed more than two decades ago, were damaged by hurricanes Katrina and Wilma. The light fixtures had been bent by wind damage and pointed in different directions.

Nearly $2 million has been made available to 14 Florida cities as grants for efficient lighting. Aside from Miami Springs, another local city, Sweetwater, was awarded a lighting grant for $120,000.

According to the terms of the grant, each city will have to track its energy savings.

Raul Hernandez, 8, thinks that the new 1,500-watt bulbs will him step up his game.

“It is cooler at night,” Hernandez said. “So we can practice longer.”

The project is due to be completed by the end of August.

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