Bicentennial Veterans Memorial Park facelift planned

Borough President Adolfo Carrion Jr., as well as other elected officials, is continuing a tradition of funding continual improvements to Bicentennial Veterans Memorial Park (above) along Throgs Neck Expressway at Weir Creek. Photo by Patrick Rocchio

Major capital improvements are planed for a park dedicated as a place for quiet reflection and meditation about the men and women who make enormous sacrifices so that we may live as free Americans.

The 9.26 acre Bicentennial Veterans Memorial Park, located between Throgs Neck Expressway, Ellsworth and Schley avenues on Weir Creek, originally opened in 1959, but had its named changed by Mayor Abraham Beame in 1976 to honor the 200th anniversary of the nation and the men and women whose sacrifices made our way of life possible.

Now, a capital project that will enhance the walkways of the park and introduce more flowerbeds and benches near the war monument and flagpole, will help the park retain its character.

“We had a walk through with politicians and architects, and gave them a review of the park and its history,” said Korony American Legion Post 253 commander Pat Devine. “We are looking for a one-acre ‘victory garden’ with a fountain, rock garden, and flowers adding color with creative planting.”

Devine said that if local veterans groups get their way, the “victory garden” will be located near a triangle path where Bronx soldiers and sailors planted a time capsule in 2006.

“We do have a capital project at Veterans Memorial Park currently being funded at $1.4 million,” said Jesslyn Tiao-Moser, spokeswoman for the Department of Parks and Recreation. “This is primarily for landscaping, reconstruction of the paths, and the entrances to the parks that are along the northeast portion of the park.”

The enhancements to the park, which Tiao-Moser said are currently in the design phase, are being funded cooperatively by Mayor Michael Bloomberg with $400,000, Borough President Adolfo Carrion Jr. with $650,000, and Councilman Jimmy Vacca with $350,000.

According to Devine, this major capital project enhancement has been in the works for quite some time, but local veterans groups wanted to wait until they could confirm that the enhancements were likely to happen before they made any announcement.

Devine said that parks is going to give a schematic review at a Community Board 10 meeting scheduled for Monday, October 27 at 7:30 p.m. at the board office.

“Parks is moving on this really quickly right now,” Devine said. “If there are no objections, we would like to see construction begin as soon as possible.”

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