Van Cortlandt Park’s new Tot Playground breaks ground

Van Cortlandt Park’s new Tot Playground breaks ground
Photo by Daniel Avila/NYC Parks

One of the city’s largest parks will receive a brand new playground.

NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver; Bronx Parks Commissioner Iris Rodriguez-Rosa; Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz; Councilman Andrew Cohen; Community Board 8 chairwoman Rosemary Ginty; Van Cortlandt Park Alliance interim executive director Julie Micou Cerf and residents joined in breaking ground for Van Cortlandt Park’s new $2.7 million playground on Tuesday, July 16.

As one of the few sections of the park without a playground, Silver said that this new recreation space in Van Cortlandt Park’s northwest corner will add a much needed play area for local youth.

Located between Mosholu Avenue and Broadway, the Van Cortlandt Park Tot Playground will feature four major zones: a main play area, play mounds with a net climber, a water play zone and a swing area.

Its design also incorpates two 5’ 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 by $1 million from the mayor, $1.2 million from Cohen and $500,000 provided through the Dormitory Authority State of New York program.

The playground is anticipated to be completed by May 2020.

Dinowitz expressed his excitement about the playground’s eco-friendly features adding that the playground will serve hundreds of families daily.

“This park is truly one of the great treasures of our city with something for New Yorkers of all ages,” said Cohen.

Micou Cerf noted that the playground’s natural theme draws inspiration from the surrounding parkland and will allow the playground to seamlessly blend into Van Cortlandt Park.

“It’s a great addition to Van Cortlandt Park and we will now have playgrounds in all corners of the park,” she said.

Cerf added that the new playground will be a short walk from the Van Cortlandt Park Alliance’s Garden & Compost Site, a 2,700 square foot garden which houses a pollinator garden, seven compost bins and over 700 square feet of vegetable beds.

Van Cortlandt Park currently has four playgrounds which include Classic Playground at Van Cortlandt Park South and Gouverneur Avenue, Sachkerah Woods Playground at Jerome Avenue and East Gun Hill Road, Southwest Playground at West 240th Street and Broadway and Woodlawn Playground at West 239th Street and Van Cortlandt East.

Van Cortlandt Park Tot Playground is one of several capital projects outlined in the Van Cortlandt Park Master Plan 2034, a comprehensive plan to upgrade the park published in 2014.

Van Cortlandt Park Alliance thanked all of the funders for helping to make Van Cortlandt Park Tot Playground a reality.

As the third largest city park, Van Cortlandt Park has more than a thousand acres atop the northwest Bronx’ ridges and valleys.

The park features playing fields and playgrounds scattered among its edges surrounded by a forested heartland sustained by Tibbets Brook.

Van Cortlandt Park is also home to the nation’s first public golf course, the Bronx’s oldest house and the borough’s largest freshwater lake.