Major renovations completed at Colucci Park

(l-r) Joseph Buonadonna, 1950 Hutchinson River Parkway Building president; Ed Corrigan; Iris Rodriguez-Rosa, NYC Parks Department Bronx commissioner; Councilman James Vacca; Matt Cruz, Community Board 10 district manager; Rita Coelho, NYC Parks team leader for Bronx capital projects; Andrew Penzi and Ramesh Patel, K&V Construction Inc. owner.
Photo by Edwin Soto

Major renovations have just been finished at a park and playground in Pelham Bay.

Community members, parkgoers and NYC Parks Department personnel gathered for a ribbon cutting on Thursday, August 31 that celebrated new amenities at Colucci Playground.

The $800,000 overhaul at the park began in 2016 after extensive consultation with the community

The park is named after Florence Colucci, the first president of the Pelham Bay Taxpayers Association.

The park was outfitted with a new spray-shower for children, a renovated seating area with decorative pavers, chess and checker tables, new benches, bicycle racks and a wheelchair accessible drinking foundation.

New plantings were also added, including Goldenrain and Filbert trees, according to the NYC Parks Department.

Councilman James Vacca allocated the capital funding for the enhancements, and said that the capital improvements were needed because wear and tear occurs as people use parks.

“I’m excited that the new play area I funded in Colucci Park is ready for community use,” said Vacca. “It’s important that we build spaces in our community that neighbors of all ages can come and use.”

Vacca said that the improvements should go a long way in creating a beautiful communal space for people in the community, and he offered his thanks to the Parks Department and its commissioners and staff for their commitment to the project.

Matt Cruz, Community Board 10 district manager, said that the playground is a resource to the community because of the spaciousness of the park.

“I think the renovations are long overdue, and are important for Pelham Bay to realize how important they are,” said Cruz, adding in his remarks that he played little league baseball as part of an all-star team in the park in his youth.

Michelle Torrioni, PBTA president, said that the park is well unitized by the Pelham Bay Little League, and the paddleball courts in the park have been a community favorite for years.

Torrioni said she thinks one of the things people like about Colucci Playground is that it is large open space and that it has youth-oriented recreational equipment.

“We have a lot of younger families with kids moving into the neighborhood, which brings them to the park,” she said.

The fact that the Colucci playground is not fenced in like some community playgrounds also lends it a feeling of spaciousness, she said.

Torrioni also said that Vacca has funded another enhancement for the park, a recreation and fitness station, which will be installed as part of a separate allocation in the future.

Iris Rodriguez-Rosa, Bronx Parks commissioner, said that the she expects the new spray shower in Colucci Playground to be well-utilized.

“We have been having these incredibly hot summers, so having a spray showers that kids can enjoy is a wonderful amenity for the community,” said Rodriguez-Rosa.

Rodriguez-Rosa also said that Colucci playground is already a treasured community resource, and the renovations now bring new amenities in addition to basketball, baseball and handball.

Reach Reporter Patrick Rocchio at (718) 260–4597. E-mail him at Follow him on Twitter @patrickfrocchio.

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