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Washington Nationals Dream Foundation Break Ground on Youth Baseball Academy

John E De Freitas. | 6/1/2011, 8:52 a.m.
Mayor Vincent Gray joined attending guests, Washington Nationals players and area baseball kids for a photo session after the formal ground breaking activities at Fort Dupont Park in S.E. on Tues. May, 31. Photo by John E. De Freitas

Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy

On Tuesday, May 31. Mayor Vincent Gray joined the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation and three hundred guests for the ground breaking ceremony for the Washington Nationals Youth baseball Academy at Fort Dupont Park in S.E.

Developed in partnership with the District of Columbia, the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy will operate as a year-round youth development program committed to teaching the fundamentals of baseball and softball while providing after-school and summer educational programs for youth in neighborhoods east of the Anacostia River.

The Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy will include three baseball fields and an 18,000 square foot state-of-the-art educational facility featuring classrooms, community rooms, a teaching kitchen and indoor training facilities. The Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy was made possible through a unique federal/local/private sector alliance between the Dream Foundation and local political, civic and community leaders.The Academy will offer inner city youth a safe environment that encourages and enhances academic development while providing the opportunity to learn and play baseball and softball. Located in Ward 7's Fort Dupont Park, the facility's three baseball fields and clubhouse are expected to open in the summer of 2012.

The National Park Service provided nearly nine acres of land at Fort Dupont Park, while financial contributions are being made by the District of Columbia, the Washington Convention and Sports Authority and the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation for construction and operating costs. Distinguished guests included:Vincent C. Gray - Mayor of the District of Columbia Eleanor Holmes Norton - Delegate, U.S. House of Representatives Kwame Brown - Chair, Council of the District of Columbia Yvette Alexander - Council member, Ward 7, Council of the District of Columbia Washington Nationals players, local baseball players, coaches and executives.

Mayor Vincent Gray and some of the guests take part in the ground breaking activities at Fort Dupont Park in S.E. Photo by John E. De Freitas