Seabury Park reopens following extensive renovations

Councilman Salamanca (4th from l), NYC Parks Commissioner Silver (c), Bronx Parks Commissioner Rodriguez-Rosa (2nd from r) and community members were excited to open the newly renovated Seabury Park.
Photo by Aracelis Batista

A 20-year-old local park reopened to much fanfare following vital renovations.

On Thursday, November 30, NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver, Bronx Parks Commissioner Iris Rodriguez-Rosa, NYC Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Vincent Sapienza, Councilman Rafael Salamanca and East Bronx Academy for the Future students cut the ribbon for the recently renovated Seabury Park.

The park design is based on feedback obtained directly from the community at public input sessions.

Funded with $777,000 by Mayor de Blasio, Seabury Park is the first Community Parks Initiative site to open in the Bronx after undergoing full reconstruction.

The completely transformed 0.19 acre park now features a new multi-use court designed for basketball, volleyball, street games and other sports; a seating area with benches and picnic tables and new trees and foliage.

“Before this renovation, eighty percent of Seabury Park was closed to the public because of sinking pavement and other unsafe conditions,” noted Silver. “I know this revamped park will be heavily used by children at the East Bronx Academy who have played on these courts for many years.”

To facilitate water runoff, green infrastructure has been added throughout Seabury Park in coordination with DEP. The parks’ green features include a rain garden, underground storm chambers, permeable concrete and flood-tolerant plants.

“The newly installed green infrastructure at this playground will help to reduce stormwater runoff, improve the health of the surrounding waterways and beautifying the neighborhood,” expressed Commissioner Sapienza.

DEP has committed approximately $50 million in funding for green infrastructure installations at CPI sites throughout the city, helping to reduce sewer overflows that sometimes occur during heavy rainfall, improve air quality and lower summertime temperatures.

“These are the types of investments needed in the south Bronx,” said Councilman Salamanca. “The Mid-Bronx Desperadoes saw the need for greenspace here 20 years ago and I’m pleased that the city is building on their commitment to the community by this sizable investment to renovate Seabury Park.”

MBD Community Housing Corporation was founded in 1974 as a coalition of volunteers determined to save their Crotona Park East community from overwhelming incidents of arson, disinvestment, abandonment and population loss.

The non-profit organization has been the driving force behind Seabury Park’s inception and development since 1994 when MBD met with residents to transform the L-shaped lot into a community park.

“It’s a beautiful park and we highly commend Parks on its wonderful renovation,” said Derrick Lovett, MBD president.

Formerly an abandoned lot, Seabury Park was permanently designated a park under Parks’ jurisdiction on April 4, 1997.

It was officially opened to the public on October 29, 1997.

Seabury Park is also known as ‘Mid-Bronx Desperadoes Community Park’ and ‘People’s Park’ in recognition of the community effort that made the park a reality.

Its official name commemorates Dr. Samuel Seabury III, a rector of St. Peter’s Protestant Episcopalian Church at Westchester Square.

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