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A.J. Hendrickson Park
Village of Valley Stream, NY

These photos are from a bocce court dedication/ribbon cutting ceremony that I attended in 2002. The park is a showpiece and a testament to how good local government can improve its citizens' quality of life. When I visited, the 42-acre park had a lake, diving pool, water park for children, infant pool, Olympic size swimming pool, basketball hoops, and had plans for a privately run miniature golf course and a skate park.

The bocce court is 64' by 12' with a Har-Tru surface over a base of 17 inches of gravel for drainage. It features beautiful cobblestone construction and a brick walkway all around. Deputy Village Clerk Robert Fumagalli was largely responsible for the court construction. For this event he put some publicity out, invited players and press, and got the mayor to roll out the first ball.

Fumagalli says the court was built with cooperation and funding from recreation and public works departments. Parks are a big part of a community according to Fumagalli. "You lose your parks," he says, "and you lose your quality of life."

Let the games begin. To enter league play, contact the recreation department to register. Also, the locals play informally Mondays and Thursdays from 9:00 to 11:30 AM.

Leagues can be male, female, or co-ed. Here the women take center stage. They play games to 12 points unless there are four player teams, in which case they play to 16. They use one line for both hitting and pointing.

Ball holder/rack made of PVC cut in half. These are removed after play and locked in a storage cabinet. Access is provided through the Rec. Dept. which is in the building behind the gazebo.

Storage for balls, scoreboard, ball racks, and other equipment. Get the OK to use from the nearby Rec. Dept. building. This is a terrific set-up getting this great game out of the private sector and into the public! Hats off to Valley Stream's Mayor, Trustees, Village Clerks, Rec. Dept. and Public Works!

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