Eager students from P.S. 48 joined Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver and other officials and community members to cut the ribbon for the reconstructed Hunts Point Playground on Thursday, June 20.
This beautiful, renovated public facility now includes neon green and blue state of the art playground equipment for the kids of P.S. 48 and many others in the south Bronx, a new brick walking surface with park benches, planted trees, lantern poles and a new basketball court that features glass backboards in addition to outdoor fitness equipment and chess tables for park goers to flex their mental muscles as well.
“Our goal is to create thriving parks for our communities,” Silver said upon the ribbon cutting in Hunts Point.
Meanwhile, the former version of Hunts Point playground offered just a basketball court with chipped paint lines, small playground area made up of mainly concrete with little lighting in addition to few trees and an overgrown green space.
“The upgraded Hunts Point Playground will continue to be a beloved community hub in the future,” the commissioner continued, mentioning that the reconstructed playground will be a significant improvement in the quality of life for Hunts Point residents.
Green infrastructure has been added throughout Hunts Point Playground in efforts of combatting storm water runoff, which are able to totally capture 2.3 million gallons of storm water annually according to Parks.
The new Community Parks Initiative site at 1300 Spofford Avenue was funded with $2.6 million from Mayor de Blasio and from a separate $730,000 allocation from the NYC Department of Environmental Protection.
“Its new green infrastructure will play an important role in managing storm water to reduce flooding and improve the health of our nearby waterways,” said DEP Commissioner Vincent Sapienza, noting that these kind of efforts make New York City a greener, more resilient place to call home.”
Additionally, the DEP has committed approximately $50 million in funding for green infrastructure installations at CPI sites throughout the Bronx and city to helping reduce sewer overflows that sometimes occur during heavy rainfall, improve air quality and lower summertime temperatures.
The newly transformed Hunts Point Playground also features a renovated comfort station, new play equipment, safety surfacing, spray showers, fencing, additional seating areas and landscaping.
Hunts Point Playground joins Little Claremont Park as two of the most recently renovated CPI parks within the borough.
The initiative has kicked $318 million into revamping smaller, lesser known parks that have not undergone significant improvements in decades.
This is the fifth park in Councilman Rafael Salamanca Jr.’s district to get a massive improvement and he couldn’t be happier.
“The once abandoned looking Hunts Point Playground is now a gem that we can all be proud of,” the councilman said in excitement.
During the grand reopening, he spent some of his time playing the game Connect Four with a toddler whom will likely break in the outdoor facility for good use during the upcoming summer months.
“I’m proud to say we’re officially open to the community!” Salamanca continued.