Sounds of laughing children proved a promising future for the newly remodeled Mullaly Park as community members and elected officials cut its ribbon on Friday, August 22.
The dual ceremony celebrated both the completed revitalization of the park’s north end, while also marking the start of construction on Mullaly Park South.
“This is just the beginning of what we’re going to do with parks in the Bronx,” Councilmember Helen Diane Foster said, standing proudly atop the recently laid $1.4 million synthetic turf soccer field that anchors the park’s northern tip.
Combined with the $4.9 million in renovations scheduled for Mullaly Park South, the $6.3 million improvements are funded as part of a $200 million investment in Bronx Parks financed by mitigation funds from the construction of the Croton Water Filtration Plant through the Department of Environmental Protection and the Municipal Water Finance Authority.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg also provided additional funding.
“This is further evidence of the efforts to build up the parks,” Paula Caplan, a spokesperson from the borough president’s office, stated.
At Mullaly Park North, replacing the badly worn green space, the new synthetic turf soccer field, complimented with an irrigation system and misting stations, now offers an open invitation for all area youth to enjoy a variety of outdoor sports.
Added erosion control will also protect the freshly planted landscaping of budding trees and flowers for years to come.
“I want everything in my neighborhood and the parks to be nicer than the parks downtown,” Foster commented, pointing out her colorful new surroundings.
To further the park’s versatility within the south Bronx neighborhood, Mullaly Park South will soon include a renovated playground, basketball courts and a tree-lined place with a spray shower area for park-goers young and old.
“I call it The New Mullaly,” Community Board 4 chairperson D. Lee Ezell said.
Mullaly Park, located at E. 164th Street, between Jerome and River avenues, honors late newspaperman and civic official John Mullaly for his tireless efforts to obtain and maintain green space in the Bronx.
In 1881, Mullaly helped found the New York Park Association, and between 1888 and 1890, he helped secure land for Van Cortlandt, Claremont, Crotona, Bronx, St. Mary’s and Pelham Bay Parks, as well as the Mosholu, Pelham and Crotona Parkways.