Playground 52 reopens after undergoing massive rehab

Playground 52 reopens after undergoing massive rehab
(front, l-r) NYC DEP Commissioner Sapienza, Bronx Parks Commissioner Rodriguez-Rosa, Borough President Diaz, NYC Parks Commissioner Silver and Councilman Salamanca cut the ribbon for the newly renovated Playground 52.
Photo by Kasey Rodriguez

A Woodstock park is back in business.

Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., Assemblywoman Carmen Arroyo, Councilman Rafael Salamanca Jr. and Community Board 2 district manager Ralph Acevedo to cut the ribbon on the reconstructed Playground 52.

“For many years, Playground 52 was in major need of repair, and today it looks like a completely new playground,” said Silver. “We wanted to make sure we rebuilt the space to fit the needs of the community, so we worked with local residents and 52 People for Progress when creating the new design. I know the community frequently uses this park for concerts and salsa dancing, so we’ve completely rebuilt the amphitheater with an open dance floor and bigger stage.”

Playground 52 has been transformed with a new skate park, renovated basketball courts, new bleachers and a larger, disability-accessible amphitheater with an open dance floor.

New play equipment and swings have been installed, along with a new spray shower, trees, plantings and security lighting to increase visibility into the park during evening hours.

The comfort station has also been completely rebuilt and restored to its original brick face, and is now also disability-accessible.

“Playground 52 is a true community amenity and I am proud to have provided $1 million from my own capital budget for these critical renovations. Thanks to strong partnerships with the Department of Parks and Recreation and stakeholders at all levels, this park will be able to entertain even more Bronxites than ever before. I urge everyone to take advantage of what remains of the summer and come check out the new and improved Playground 52,” said Diaz.

This $9.5 million transformation was completed in three phases.

The amphitheater and skate park construction were also funded with $1.7 million from the City Council and $311,000 from the mayor.

Play equipment, planting beds and spray shower were funded by the mayor’s office in the amount of nearly $4 million. The mayor also funded the renovation of the comfort station with $1.98 million.

In efforts to manage stormwater runoff, DEP contributed more than $774,000 to install new rain gardens with retention basins which will help capture nearly 780,000 gallons each year.

“As your elected official and fellow Bronxite it gives me great honor to witness the revitalization of our local parks and playgrounds,” said Arroyo. “I stand frontline in the tireless fight for a safe modern and more vibrant community. This is one of many projects that brings the Bronx one step further from being forgotten,” she added.

“In a district where big parks are hard to come by, smaller parks play an important role in the community, often providing places of refuge for kids in the neighborhood,” said Salamanca Jr. “Playground 52 is one of these cherished parks in my district, and its $9.5 million transformation is a celebration. I hope that the new basketball courts, seating, ADA-accessible amphitheater and new playground equipment will make Playground 52 an inviting place for the community to truly enjoy.”

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