Tag Archives: Fair Haven Fields

Retro Happy Fair Haven Campers

Happy campers at the Fair Haven campout in 2013
Photo/Elaine Van Develde

It’s been a steamy summer. One hot Fair Haven summer event was a short-lived one for this seasonal reason, because it was, let’s say, too hot to handle. That would be the summer campout. It’s been moved to the fall.

Continue reading Retro Happy Fair Haven Campers

Fair Haven’s New Tennis Courts Unveiled

New tennis courts in Fair Haven Fields
Photo/Fair Haven Borough

The Borough of Fair Haven, in collaboration with Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School (RFH) Board of Education, has unveiled the new tennis courts at Fair Haven Fields.

Following a ribbon-cutting ceremony today, the Shore Conference Tennis Tournament, between the RFH Girls Tennis Team and Mater Dei broke in the brand new courts.

The tennis courts project background, from Fair Haven borough …

This construction project represents a significant capital investment in new and expanded tennis facilities at Fair Haven Fields, Ridge Road in Fair Haven. The project is unique in that five new tennis courts were jointly funded by the two separate public entities, through an interlocal agreement between the borough and the RFH Board of Education. The interlocal agreement was deemed one that would pare down costs significantly.

In 2016, the Borough’s four existing tennis courts, which were located in Fair Haven Fields, were old, crack- ridden and needed to be completely replaced.

At the same time, the RFH tennis courts were also in need of extensive repairs and that facility was unable to accommodate a high school tennis match in one location. Additionally, the regional high school was in need of more recreational space on their campus, which could be achieved by relocating their tennis court facilities.

With the support of the Fair Haven Borough Council and the RFH board, Fair Haven Borough Administrator Theresa Casagrande and RFH Business Administrator Frank Gripp pooled professional resources for both the interlocal agreement and construction and restoration plans for the courts and site.

Here’s how it works …

The borough and the board will split the total cost of the entire project. The interlocal agreement includes provisions for future court maintenance.

The joint project will provide the public and Fair Haven schools’ and RFH’s students with a new tennis facility for many years to come.

Sharing facilities and splitting the associated construction costs for these new courts enabled each public entity to save a significant amount of money, on behalf of the tax payers of both Rumson and Fair Haven.

The new courts will be home to the RFH Girls Tennis Team in the fall season and the Fair Haven Knollwood School and RFH Boys tennis team in the spring season.

Aside from limited school team use and borough-approved camps, etc., the courts will be open to the public. Two of the new courts have also been painted for pickle ball, a fast-growing, popular sport for active adults.

Bikes, skateboards, rollerblades, etc. are not permitted on the new courts, as they will diminish their condition.

— Press release from Fair Haven Borough

Simple Summer: Fair Haven Campout

The concept doesn’t get any simpler for summer — a tent, some games, some snacks, some buddies, a movie and sleeping (sort of) under the stars far enough outside of your own back yard to call it an outing.

It’s what kids and parents gathered to do on Saturday in Fair Haven. It was the borough’s annual campout at Fair Haven Fields.

It was still steaming hot at tent pitching time — around 7 p.m..

The Fair Haven Recreation Department helpers were ready and curbside at the fields and set to inform campers about the rules and regs. And the concession stand was staffed. But, well, by 7:30 p.m., only two sets of campers had arrived.

The helpers anticipated that more would show when the movie started at 8:45 and they were ready!

This is how this simple summer night of new local tradition got started on Saturday. These guys in the featured photo were a little wilted from the humidity, but still smiling and energetic enough to kid around with each other a little. Though, one of them reflected that he thinks he always has a “reluctant gaze” when photographed. Hmmm. Can you guess which is the reluctant reflector?

If you have any photos of the campout after perhaps more campers arrived and more fun ensued or fewer campers looked “reluctant,” send them to us at evd@rfhretro.com for our camp night slideshow for later. 

— Elaine Van Develde

Retro Summer Campout Days

Campout in Fair Haven Fields circa 2013 Photo/Elaine Van Develde
Campout in Fair Haven Fields circa 2013
Photo/Elaine Van Develde

Well, this weekend, Saturday, to be exact, Fair Haven is having its annual campout in Fair Haven Fields.

It’s a relatively new tradition, and a very popular one.

Parents, kids, teens … well, just about everyone joins in on this fun time in this small town.

So, to honor the annual festivities, the Retro Pic of the Day takes a gander back at a shot of the campout a couple of years ago.

Yes, a good time was had by all … Recognize anyone in this pic?

Of course, Carson Kirman is font and sort of center (more like right) with the posing!

Have fun this weekend, all!

Fair Haven Baseball: A Sign of Contention

By Elaine Van Develde

It’s a sign of baseball times in Fair Haven and something that officials think is a foul ball thrown onto the borough’s fields.

Officials discussed at Monday night’s Borough Council meeting what amounted to the latest microcosm in a longstanding quandary over donations to the baseball program in the borough with corporate sponsorship strings attached — most recently, a donated scoreboard that comes with a large corporate sponsorship plaque.

“We were told about it when it was en route,” Mayor Ben Lucarelli said. “Now it’s at the DPW (Department of Public Works). The kids want the scoreboard. It’s a nice donation. But it should be just that — a donation. It’s not proper to have what amounts to a commercial ad sitting on public fields. There should be no strings attached. They should be coming to us on things like this and asking our permission. I don’t vote, but, I move that we allow the sign to be erected without the sponsorship plaque.”

Council members agreed. But the agreement didn’t end without a  recount of what they called an uncooperative history of Fair Haven Baseball, a separate non-profit (501c3) entity, taking corporate sponsorships and advertising on banners in the public fields without any communication with borough officials.

The fact that “Fair Haven Baseball just threw up sponsorship signs against our will is just bad behavior,” Councilman Rowland Wilhelm said. “These fields rely on borough resources to maintain.”

It’s a matter of public versus private interests, Council President Jonathan Peters said.

“It’s been a bone of contention,” the mayor said. “Back in the day, things were simple. There were no sponsorships, no separate organization, just volunteers.”

The teams organized and played ball wherever they could. Then came a non-profit baseball organization and Fair Haven Fields. The fields are maintained and improved by the borough — to the tune of about $.5 million most recently.

They are public property, by virtue of not only the fact that the fields are owned and maintained by the borough, but that they were purchased with NJ Department of Environmental Protection Green Acres funds. As such, in accordance with Green Acres parameters, they must be kept open to the public and preserved as recreational open space.

Herein lies the dilemma. Since the old days, Fair Haven has decentralized its Recreation Department. So, Fair Haven Baseball has become the separate organization that it now is — a non-profit.

Commercial sponsorship donations are garnered to support the organization via various advertising methods like the banners. A large chunk of the funds that that they do receive, officials noted, do go toward Fair Haven Fields’ maintenance.

But, there is a conflict of interest when commercial entities advertise on a public property. Yes, officials said, you see it all the time on major league baseball fields. But the ownership of those fields is a different story. There’s a corporate investment from the onset.

“In the end, the goal is to have a good season and get the kids to Cooperstown,” Lucarelli said. “These are good volunteers. But, they forget that they’re in Fair Haven and the ballfields are owned by the borough.”

And, the Fair Haven Baseball gets exclusive use of the fields. No one else can play when they are scheduled.

“At the end of the day, the scoreboard is here,” Lucarelli said.

Council voted to erect it without the sponsorship plaque.

As for the future, “Can we give them a scathing letter that says, ‘If you do this again, the answer will be no?’ ” Councilwoman Susan Sorensen, liaison to the Recreation Department said. “Enough is enough.”

The board will take about three days to install, officials estimated. When, exactly, it will be erected has not yet been determined.