City officials and residents of Soundview celebrated a new neighborhood amenity.
The Parks Department cut the ribbon on an amphitheater in Soundview Park on August 27.
The natural amphitheater over looks the Long Island Sound and provides an entertainment space to be used for performances or movie screenings.
The addition to the park will create opportunities for kids and families to have great experiences and make memories in the park, said parks commissioner Mitchell Silver.
“Parks are not just green spaces, they’re public spaces,” said Silver.
The $2.8 million project was in the works for years—Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. helped spearhead it while working as an assemblyman—and includes mayoral funding as well as Croton Filtration Plant Mitigation Funds.
The new amenity was celebrated by local leaders at the ribbon cutting.
“It means a great deal for the community and the residents of Soundview” said Sidney Hargrave, member of Community Board 9. “We’ve never had anything like this before.”
The amphitheater is part of a larger revitalization of the park, which Hargrave said has had a transformative effect on the neighborhood.
The previous phase saw the construction of a 400-meter regulation running track and field facility with areas for pole vault, high jump, long jump and triple jump.
That $6 million project also included a synthetic turf soccer field with bleacher seating and lighting for evening play.
Future phases of the Soundview Park redevelopment will include the reconstruction of the playground and the addition of a new comfort station.
The improvements and changing times have made for a safe and welcoming public space where there wasn’t one years before.
“You remember back in the day, you didn’t come to Soundview Park,” said Diaz.
The city officials urged residents to both enjoy the park and take responsibility for its success.
“The community has to own this park,” said Assemblyman Marcos Crespo. “The community has to protect this space.”
In the coming years, the amphitheater will play stage to a wide variety of arts and entertainment, officials promised, including music, theater and movies.
“This is the first of many, many events,” said Diaz about the screening of “Yogi Bear” that followed the ribbon cutting.
The next event is a screening of the movie “Enchanted” on Sunday, September 20.
The amphitheater can be reached through a new park entrance at the end of Rosedale Avenue.