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Let the games begin

City leaders, residents commemorate first phase of Bernal Community Park

City leaders and residents gathered Saturday to dedicate the highly-anticipated opening of the first phase of the Bernal Community Park.

According to city spokeswoman Joanne Hall, approximately 400 people turned out to the special event, which included a ribbon-cutting, hot dogs, popcorn and ice cream, and baseball exhibition games by local Little League teams.

Phase 1 of the project came in $1 million under budget and is the beginning of what will eventually become a 50-plus acre sports park that is incorporated within the 318-acre overall park.

According to Hall, over the past 18 months, the project team turned dust into diamonds by:

* Transporting 5,700 tons of aggregate base rock (or 271 truckloads);

* Pouring 1,700 tons of asphalt;

* Installing 9,200 square feet of trails and 55,000 square feet of sidewalk;

* Moving 160,000 yards of soil (or 20,000 truck loads);

* Planting 3,800 plants and shrubs and 200 trees

* Importing 83,000 square feet of bark;

* Constructing 100,000 square feet of baseball fields; and

* Installing 1,600 sprinklers

--Janet Pelletier

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