Families in Syracuse’s Outer Comstock neighborhood are celebrating major improvements to Comfort Tyler park thanks in part to a long-time neighbor whose offices are across the street near Manley Field House. The Jim and Juli Boeheim Foundation’s Courts4kids program provided funding for a pair of basketball courts that complement a series of other renovations.
It’s the seventh such court upgrade at parks throughout the city. Coach Jim Boeheim says it’s just their way of giving back to a community that’s rallied behind SU’s basketball program.
"Doesn't matter where we go, there's Syracuse people there that support us. It doesn't matter what the weather is in Syracuse, people come to the dome and support our basketball team. That's why we do these things. It's not because I'm that generous. It's because we get unbelievable support."
The courts at Comfort Tyler are the fourth in the city to utilize porous pavement under Onondaga County’s Save the Rain program to reduce storm water runoff. County Executive Joanie Mahoney appreciates the Boeheim Foundation’s willingness to go along.
"We can engineer a project like this that has so much ancillary benefit, and we're still cleaning Onondaga Lake. The water is going to go straight through and make it's way to back the water table naturally, the way it was intended to do. It won't runoff into the road, it won't pollute our waterways."
The park also features a rain garden, bioswale, and other improvements that will capture 982,000 gallons of rainwater per year. Mayor Stephanie Miner says the neighborhood’s human infrastructure also benefits.
"Parks are an inherently important part of a city. All you need to do is look back 5 or 6 years ago to see what this park looked like then and what it looks like now. You see real investment that gives an immediate return to the neighborhood and to our city."
In addition to the Boeheim Foundation and Save the Rain, Farone and Sons Funeral Home and Syracuse Parks also contributed to the effort to renovate Comfort Tyler Park.