A ribbon cutting ceremony, which took place on Saturday, June 28, marked the conclusion of construction on the new faculties, located at Bronx Park East and Britton Avenue.
The reconstructed area of Bronx Park includes a 6,000 square-foot skate park featuring a smooth skating surface and modern equipment, such as a quarter park, bank ramps with ledges, a skate pyramid and grind rails.
The skate park provides options for local children who had to travel out to Throggs Neck for such facilities in the past.
Also constructed is a new synthetic turf soccer field, accommodating the growing popularity of the sport.
Safety fencing surrounds these new park amenities.
Present at the ceremony were Parks and Recreation commissioner Adrian Benepe, Bronx Parks Commissioner Hector Aponte, Assemblywoman Naomi Rivera, and John Fratta, district manager of Community Board 11.
“This is our biggest expansion year since the 1930s, with this being the 8th skate park in the Bronx,” Benepe said. “Hopefully, this will get kids moving and exercising a lot more.”
Fratta stressed the value of personal responsibility to the young people present in the crowd.
“This park is your home,” Fratta told the youngsters. “If you see someone destroying the property with graffiti or other things, call the police. Take ownership of your park.”
Members of the Red Bull and Fadesca soccer teams joined local skaters/skateboarders at the event, making it an instant success for the neighborhood.
“This park is a testament to the achievements of the community,” Rivera noted.
The $1.4 million of renovations to the park come as part of a $220 million investment in Bronx parks funded by mitigation funds from the construction of the Croton Water Filtration Plant through the New York City Department of Environmental Protection and the Municipal Water Finance Authority.
The idea for the skate park had been in the works for three years.
“This idea started with the manager at McDonalds on White Plains Road worrying about kids skateboarding in his parking lot getting killed,” Fratta noted.
- With Gina Stallone
©2008 Community News Group