Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation Unveils 100th Nationwide Youth Development Park
It’s a new day in what has been one of Baltimore’s most underserved neighborhoods as the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation celebrated its 20th anniversary by unveiling its 100th Nationwide Youth Development Park.
This is BGE Field presented by Kelly Benefits at Reedbird Park in the Cherry Hill neighborhood of South Baltimore. Built in conjunction with South Baltimore Gateway Partnership and Baltimore City Recreation & Parks as the first phase of a comprehensive revitalization project along Cherry Hill’s Middle Branch waterfront.
The $ 3 million, 83,000 square foot turf complex along Hanover Street to Avenue is a major component of Middle Branch’s new fitness and wellness center that will open in spring 2022.
The field is versatile and supports baseball, softball, football, lacrosse and soccer and includes lights and bleachers for recreational league and after-school programs for youth.
From BGE Field Presented by Kelly Benefits, listen to Cal Ripken Jr and Bill Ripken talk about this important new area and how and why they have been so involved in youth development parks like this in Baltimore and across the country.
Since its inception in 2001, the foundation has reached over 10 million young people through programs as well as the construction of these multi-purpose parks in addition to 137 STEM centers in elementary and middle schools nationwide. Over the past 12 years, the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation has raised and donated over $ 113 million to communities across the country through the Youth Development Park initiative. BGE Field marks the 16th YDP built in the home state of Ripken, Maryland.
See my @wbalradio Cherry Hill video as @CalRipkenJr & #BillRipken unveiled @CalRipkenSrFdnThe 100th Nationwide Youth Development Park in one of Baltimore’s historically underserved neighborhoods. It is #BGE Field presented by @ kellybenefits1 Thanks to @MaroonPR @mdprguy pic.twitter.com/WyfolSNDeN
– Scott Wykoff (@ScottWykoffWBAL) November 10, 2021
The Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation helps strengthen America’s most underserved and distressed communities by supporting and advocating for children, building youth development parks and STEM centers, partnering law enforcement and youth service agencies, and responding to community needs through its national program initiatives.
BGE Field presented by Kelly Benefits is a $ 3 million, 83,000 square foot riparian field complex. The grounds are a major component of the city’s sprawling new Middle Branch fitness and wellness center run by Baltimore City Recreation and Parks (BCRP), scheduled to open in 2022. It will house indoor sports and outdoor, as well as three swimming pools and several fitness rooms. The BGE field will be multi-purpose and will support soccer, football, lacrosse, baseball and softball, and will include lights and bleachers for recreational leagues and other after-school programs for youth. Although this area was an original idea of CRSF, it would not have been possible without the support of many wonderful organizations: South Baltimore Gateway Partnership, Baltimore City Recreation and Parks, BGE, Kelly Benefits, State of Maryland, the Major League Baseball- MLB Players Association Youth Development Foundation, Group 1001, Baltimore Ravens, Jay and Patty Baker, LISC, Under Armor and Weller Development Company.
“When we created the foundation to honor Dad 20 years ago, we never would have imagined the impact we could have had,” said Cal Ripken, Jr. co-founder of the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation. 100 of these amazing parks, 137 STEM centers and reaching over 10 million underserved children across the country is something we are very proud of. We’ve always believed that you can do good on your own, but you can do great things with great partners, and that’s certainly proof of it. Having our 100th Youth Development Park here in Baltimore makes it even more special. “
This new land and the Middle Branch Fitness and Wellness Center are part of Reimagine Middle Branch, a community initiative reconnecting South Baltimore to its 11 miles of shoreline along the Patapsco Central Branch. This dynamic project is funded and led by the South Baltimore Gateway Partnership (SBGP), Baltimore City Recreation and Parks, the Parks & People Foundation and the City of Baltimore. SBGP is an independent government agency established in 2016 to lead funding provided by local impact grants generated by video lottery terminals, including at the Horseshoe Casino Baltimore, to support the neighborhoods surrounding the casino in the South and Southwest from Baltimore.
Hear Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott talk about the importance of this new field in Cherry Hill
Senator Frank Kelly, co-founder of what is today known as Kelly Benefits and a member of the CRSF Board of Directors added: “I have had the honor of being a part of the Ripken Foundation ever since. the start and it brings me and everyone at Kelly Benefits great happiness when we see how much has been accomplished for children in need. We are proud of our work in the community and our partnership with Cal and this foundation is very special. “
Hear more from Senator Frank Kelly speak at the BGE Field unveiling presented by Kelly Benefits in Cherry Hill
Carim Khouzami, President and CEO of Baltimore Gas & Electric, said, “Doing our part to uplift the communities we serve is a priority for everyone at BGE. Our long-standing partnership with the Ripken Foundation is having a significant and lasting impact on the people of Baltimore and we are proud to support this latest project. Children need safe places to play and learn so that they can be children and this area, along with all the other amazing aspects of Middle Branch Fitness and Wellness Center, accomplishes just that. It’s a wonderful day for Cherry Hill and South Baltimore. “
Hear BGE President and CEO Carim Khouzami talk about the importance of projects like this in Baltimore
“The construction of this new baseball field will make the game more inclusive and fair for children living in Cherry Hill and the greater South Baltimore neighborhood,” said Jean Batrus, executive director of the MLB-MLBPA Youth Development Foundation. “The project aligns well with Major League Baseball and Major League Baseball Players Association’s commitment to making baseball and softball accessible to all children. We are proud to work alongside so many leaders to make this project a success.
Listen to Jean Batrus, Executive Director of the MLB-MLBPA Youth Development Foundation, as she takes part in the unveiling
“We are thrilled to celebrate the opening of this land as part of the Middle Branch Fitness and Wellness Center and that the neighborhood and larger communities in South Baltimore can start using it,” said Brad Rogers, Executive Director of the South Baltimore Gateway Partnership. “This is an exciting step both for this project and to support the communities in the region; they deserve to have the best resources and amenities in their neighborhood and we are honored to be a part of them. “
Hear Brad Rogers, Executive Director of the South Baltimore Gateway Partnership, speak at the unveiling of the new field
“We are delighted that the upcoming Middle Branch Fitness and Wellness Center will be the destination of choice for the Ripken Foundation’s 100th Sports Field,” said Reginald Moore, Executive Director of Baltimore City Recreation and Parks. “Our agency understands the importance of providing our communities with quality recreation options, so we are fortunate to work with partners like Cal Ripken Sr., Foundation and the South Baltimore Gateway Partnership who are essential in helping us achieve this goal. The new BGE Field will empower children and families in South Baltimore in more ways than one and we look forward to seeing them take advantage. “
Hear from Baltimore City Recreation and Parks Executive Director Reginald Moore, who was a driving force behind this project
Hear Under Armor CEO and Chairman Patrik Frisk speak at the inauguration as Under Armor has been recognized as a long-time partner of the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation, helping to return areas like this one possible
“We are thrilled to support this incredible community asset through the local impact grants our company helps fund,” said Randy Conroy, senior vice president and general manager of Horseshoe Casino Baltimore. “This magnificent recreational facility will benefit area families for years to come, and we look forward to seeing generations of local sports enthusiasts achieve important personal and team milestones as they pursue their passions in this wonderful recreation facility. same domain.
Hear Randy Conroy, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Horseshoe Casino Baltimore and Board Member of the South Baltimore Gateway Partnership, as the new grounds open
See my @wbalradio video of @CalRipkenJr from the unveiling of the @CalRipkenSrFdn‘s 100th Nationwide Youth Development Park in Cherry Hill in South Baltimore as he explains how he & @ BillRipken89 decided to start donating fields 20 years ago! @MyBGE @ 1kellybenefits @MaroonPR pic.twitter.com/zjomYjRUpf
– Scott Wykoff (@ScottWykoffWBAL) November 11, 2021
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