A Soundview Park has reopened to the community following its nearly three year long reconstruction.
NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver joined Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr.; Councilman Ruben Diaz, Sr.; Assemblyman Marcos Crespo, Community Board 9 and residents on Tuesday, August 13 to cut the ribbon for the $4.35 million reconstructed Parque de los Niños.
The park now features a brand new synthetic turf mini soccer field, a new 160 meter all-weather running track with a 100 meter straightaway sprint lane and reconstructed ballfields including newly skinned infields, natural turf outfields and Americans with Disabilities Act accessible dugouts.
Additional amenities include a drinking fountain; misting station; bike racks; shaded bleachers and 1964 World’s Fair replica benches; outdoor adult fitness equipment; picnic tables and a planting bed consisting of trees, shrubs and groundcover.
“With the brand new track, turf soccer field and renovated ball fields, we have diversified the park’s recreation spaces, transforming it into a world class facility for the community,” Silver expressed.
The project was funded by an $802,000 allocation from Mayor de Blasio, $2.75 million from Borough President Diaz and $800,000 from Councilman Diaz.
The borough president said that providing quality park spaces such as Parque de los Niños is paramount to the #Not62 health initiative which seeks to build a healthier Bronx.
“What starts off as ‘kids being kids;’ running around and having fun in our park spaces becomes the building blocks to developing a healthier lifestyle habits as our kids become adults,” Diaz, Jr. said.
Following the ribbon-cutting ceremony, local youth enjoyed playing soccer, running track and participating in an exciting game of parachute ball.
Since 2001, Councilman Diaz has hosted the annual Morrison Avenue Festival next to Parque de los Niños.
“People of all ages use this park to soak up the sun, play basketball, baseball, soccer and they will be ecstatic once they see the dramatic improvements made by the Parks Department,” Diaz, Sr. stated.
The playground’s two-part reconstruction commenced on August 24, 2016 following a groundbreaking ceremony.
Phase 1, which involved the playground’s amenities, was completed on July 10, 2017 with $156,000 from the mayor’s office, according to Parks Department.
Phase 2 involved rebuilding the park’s ballfields and adding the running track around much of the greenspace’s perimeter.
“Our children deserve the very best and thanks to the efforts of NYC Parks and my colleagues in government, we will give the very best to the families who visit and build their life long memories at el Parque de Los Niños,” shared Crespo.
Completed in 1956, the playground, located on the corner of Morrison and Watson avenues, was originally known as the ‘James Burke Ballfields.’
It was renamed Parque de Los Niños in 1995 to honor six neighborhood children killed in the late eighties.