Bronx Parks Commissioner Iris Rodriguez-Rosa joined Councilman Ruben Diaz ,Sr., Assemblyman Marcos Crespo, Senator Luis Sepulveda, Senator Jeff Klein, Community Board 9 and students from nearby P.S. 119 to break ground on a $1.5 million reconstruction of Black Rock Playground on Thursday, July 26.
Funded entirely by Mayor de Blasio as part of the Community Parks Initiative , construction is expected to be complete in winter 2019.
The new design for Black Rock Playground was created with input from the Parkchester community, who shared their needs and wants with Parks at a community visioning session in 2016.
The playground will be revamped with new play equipment; swings and water play features to keep kids cool in the summer.
Black Rock is to also receive new benches, water fountains, trees, plants and lighting.
Additionally, some of the fencing will be lowered to make the park more open and welcoming, and the drainage systems will be rebuilt to ease rain runoff.
“The students of P.S. 119 use Black Rock Playground every day,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver. “Yet, this playground hasn’t seen meaningful improvements since 1997. Today, we are changing that. We are giving this playground a complete makeover to ensure the kids and families of Parkchester have the kind of modern playground they deserve,” he added.
The mayor’s Community Parks Initiative has been striving to create a more equitable and accessible parks system by investing in smaller parks that are located in New York City’s densely populated neighborhoods.
“Our parks are an essential resource that bring Bronx families and communities together,” said Klein. “The children of Parkchester and surrounding neighborhoods need and deserve a wonderful space to play and thrive, and that’s what the Black Rock Playground will become thanks to Mayor de Blasio’s Community Park’s Initiative and the NYC Parks Department,” Klein added.
Through this program, the city has been investing $318 million in capital dollars to make renovations to 67 parks citywide including 18 in the Bronx—that have not undergone significant improvements in decades.
“This $1.5 million reconstruction project is another step forward towards improving the quality of life for our residents and the Bronx overall,” said Crespo.
“I am proud to stand with my colleagues, with NYC Parks, the City of New York and Bronx Commissioner Iris Rodriguez-Rosa in their efforts to continue to beautify and make our parks safe and fun for children and families,” he added.
The playground is named after the black rock outcroppings in the area, formed of gneiss–a coarse-grained, imperfectly layered metamorphic rock, characterized by alternating dark and light bands.
It was formed during the Hartland formation and dates back hundreds of millions of years, when an unknown land mass collided with North America and buried sedimentary rocks on the edge of the continent.
Several miles below the earth’s surface, at temperatures over 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit, the sedimentary rock was forged into gneiss.