The New York City Department of Parks & Recreation inaugurated the ribbon cutting for two completed neighborhood parks projects.
Drew Playground, located on Fulton Avenue, between E. 169th and E. 170th streets, celebrated its official ribbon cutting as community leaders, elected officials, park associates and all those involved with the reconstruction gathered together. Joining in the event, on Wednesday, October 8, were students and faculty from Fulton Day Care and Kappa M.S. 215.
“I am pleased with the design we did. The park is much greener and livelier and much more open,” said Hector Aponte, park’s Bronx Borough Commissioner. “The kids will be able to get here and enjoy themselves while getting fit.”
Allan Molas, a group teacher at Fulton Day Care, appreciated the use the younger children will get from the versatile playground. “Its good because there are different areas for older kids and for young kids. It is very safe for them here. The other parks were sometimes overcrowded, but since this park reopened we are able to bring our kids here, a spot right near our school.”
The reconstruction of Drew Playground totaled $1 million, adding new play equipment, seating areas, spray showers, safety fencing, planting beds, fountains, and new curbing and pavement. This completes work at Drew, which began with the $400,000 project to reconstruct the handball and basketball courts.
“I have been teaching in this community for 12 years and the kids need places like this to go. It was open before, but it didn’t look anything like this,” said Carrel Reavis, Dean of Students for Kappa M.S. 215. This project is a direct result of the Croton Water Filtration Plant, which is directing $200 million towards improving and building Bronx Parks.
“Thanks to $1 million in Croton Mitigation Funding provided by the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, we were able to make a better playground for residents of all ages to enjoy,” noted Adrian Benepe, Parks Commissioner. “We are doing more improvements in Bronx parks than we have in the last 70 years. Our idea is that every park in every neighborhood should be as nice, if not nicer, than Central Park.”
In addition to Drew Playground, parks also cut the ribbon on Mount Hope Playground, another Croton-funded project, which cost $1.8 million.
“This is a wonderful opportunity, a continuum of the Parks Department,” said district manager of Community Board 3, John Dudley. “Parks put hard work and effort into ensuring our young adults have a safe place to go and play.”