On Tuesday, NYC Parks announced the completion of eight projects and imminent completion of two others, totaling $42.6 million in renovations to Bronx parks.
The projects range from new playgrounds and neighborhood improvements to major capital upgrades and include transformations through the Community Parks Initiative, Parks Without Borders and Anchor Parks.
“In a year of unprecedented challenges, we are thrilled to announce more than $42 million in improvements to Bronx parks,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP. “Encompassing multiple equity and showcase projects, transportational upgrades, and overall park enhancements, the completion of these projects represent our steadfast commitment improving our green spaces, and the quality of life of those who enjoy them.”
St. Mary’s Park – Anchor Parks Phase I (Open)
The $9.2 million project reconstructed two ball fields and expanded the dog run, adding sports event seating, a water fountain, sports lighting, an ADA accessible seating area, new fencing and landscape upgrades with new planting beds. This is the first phase of a $30 million reconstruction of St. Mary’s Park, one of five projects funded by Mayor Bill de Blasio through the Anchor Parks initiative.
Playground 174 – Community Parks Initiative (Open)
This $4.9 million renovation of Playground 174 is the 47th project completed through the Community Parks Initiative (CPI), the city’s first-ever parks equity initiative, funded by the mayor. The project reconstructed the play and adult fitness equipment, adding new swings, a basketball court, benches, sitting areas, drinking fountains, fences, park security lighting, plantings and drainage.
Van Cortlandt Park – Parks Without Borders (Open)
The $5.9 million project reconstructed access pathways with new stairs to and from the entrance and created a new inviting plaza with spray shower features and game tables. This is the third completed Parks Without Borders (PWB) project, nominated by the community. The eight selected showcase projects share $40 million in funding from Mayor de Blasio as part of OneNYC.
Van Cortlandt Park – Playground Construction (Open)
The $3 million project created a brand new playground in the northwest section of Van Cortlandt Park between Mosholu Avenue and Broadway. The new playground features four major zones: a main play area, play mounds with a net climber, a water play zone and a swing area. The playground also includes two 5-foot high slides, a new play area with safety surfacing, an open lawn area and eco-friendly features including sustainable materials and LED lights. The project was funded with $1.26 million from Mayor de Blasio, $1.26 million from Councilman Andrew Cohen and $500,000 provided through the Dormitory Authority State of New York (DASNY) program.
Van Cortlandt Park – Skate Park Construction (Open)
The $1.18 million project constructed a brand new skate park at Van Cortlandt Park. The new skatepark features a wedge and gap, a full mound, a pyramid corner, a quarter pipe and bank and a euro gap with stairs and handrail. The skatepark also features all new fencing and gates. The project was funded with a $178,000 allocation from Mayor Bill de Blasio and $1 million from former Council Member Gabriel Oliver Koeppell.
Patterson Playground Reconstruction (Open)
The $4.53 million project at Patterson Playground reconstructed the basketball courts, playground, and handball courts. The reconstructed playground now features play units and swings for children of all ages and a decorative concrete pavement area with spray showers. A new community garden has also been built, featuring raised beds, trees, shrubs and groundcovers. New paths, chain link fences, concrete curbs, asphalt, concrete pavements and safety surfacing has been included in the play area. The project was funded by a $2.2 million allocation from Mayor Bill de Blasio and $2.33 million from Councilwoman Diana Ayala.
West Farms Park Construction (Open)
The $2.75 million project at West Farms Park has constructed a bikeway and pedestrian path, which is now part of a link to existing and future greenways to the north and south. The project also reconstructed the existing park facilities and redesigned the demapped street bed into parkland. A new park entrance and seating area has also been created at the 179th Street cul-de-sac.b The project was funded by a $2.075 million allocation from Mayor Bill de Blasio, $436,000 from a United States Federal Grant, $200,000 from a New York State Multimodal grant and a $45,000 allocation from Councilman Ritchie Torres.
“The investments and improvements made to West Farms Park will ensure that the park is safe and accessible to all Bronx residents, and will improve quality-of-life in the neighborhood,” Torres said. “My office is committed to beautifying, protecting, up-keeping, and investing in parks throughout the district so that all residents can have access to green spaces.”
Spuyten Duyvil Playground Reconstruction – (Open)
The recently opened $1.2 million project at Spuyten Duyvil Playground replaced the playground’s existing spray showers with new, accessible spray features and structures for all age groups. Additional playground upgrades include new pavement, new ground jets and above ground water sprays, and updated plumbing and infrastructure. New native plantings with protective fences have also been added to enhance and improve the greenery at the site. The $1.2 million project was funded by a $600,000 allocation from Councilman Cohen and a $600,000 grant from the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York.
Van Cortlandt Park – Putnam Greenway – (To Open Fall 2020)
The $4.25 million Putnam Greenway project, which is soon to open, has created an aesthetically pleasing and accessible path that connects Van Cortlandt Park with the South County Trail System. In addition to protecting and enhancing the native ecology, the project has increased accessibility for all members of the community, reduced ponding, rutting and erosion on the trail by filtering water into the bioswales created during construction and has added over 400 native trees and saplings during the course of construction while removing invasive plants. This project is funded by a $2.67 million allocation from Mayor Bill de Blasio, $1.3 million from The Federal Highway Administration, and $250 thousand from Councilman Cohen.
Garrison Playground – Community Parks Initiative (To Open By End of 2020)
The $5.7 million project at Garrison Playground has completely renovated the playground, improving accessibility and visibility into the park. The newly renovated playground now includes a central synthetic turf lawn, permeable pavers, a table tennis and seating area, a spray shower and a water feature with ground jets and new playground equipment for children ages 2 to 5 and 5 to 12. The walk between Grand Concourse and Walton Avenue has also been reconstructed to meet ADA accessibility standards and will remain open at all times during park hours. The $5.7 million Community Parks Initiative project was funded by a $3.7 million allocation from Mayor Bill de Blasio, $1.5 million from Councilman Rafael Salamanca Jr. and $500,000 from Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
“The last six months has proved just how important access to quality green space is,” Salamanca said. “As New Yorkers continue to utilize city parks in record numbers, the reopening of a completely renovated Garrison Playground will be a source of much excitement in the South Bronx. Including a new children’s playground, improved seating areas, synthetic turf lawns and ADA walkways, among other things, I am proud to have allocated $1.5 million in discretionary funding to ensure the project’s completion.”