Photo of Arrochar Playground via Department of Parks and Recreation
Tomorrow, March 20th, the first day of spring–otherwise known as the day before another half-a-foot of snow gets dumped on us–NYC will celebrate five park re-openings, one for each borough (h/t amNY). The Department of Parks and Recreation’s ribbon cuttings represent a total of $23.9 million in capital improvements ranging from park landscaping, new play areas, exercise spaces for adults, water features, and new comfort stations. The parks are: Staten Island’s Arrochar Playground; Queens’ Grassmere Playground; Brooklyn’s Hilltop Playground; the Bronx’s Lyons Square Playground; and Manhattan’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Playground in Harlem.
According to Sam Biderman, Assistant Commissioner for Communications at NYC Department of Parks & Recreation, “We’re hosting a ribbon cutting in each borough – that means short speeches from Commissioner Silver and local stakeholders, and a photo opp to cut the ribbon on each park!”
1. Hilltop Park (fka Saratoga Ballfields) in Brownsville, Brooklyn
Cost: $3 million
The new park with a new name has new playground equipment, a spray shower, a synthetic turf field, a painted track, adult fitness equipment, a basketball court, lighting, fencing, pavement and site furnishings.
2. Lyons Square in the South Bronx
Cost: $7.4 million
Lyons Square has water features, basketball courts, picnic and ping pong tales and fitness equipment. The new additions are ADA accessible playground features and the construction of comfort stations.
3. Martin Luther King Jr. Park in Harlem
Cost: $5.1 million
In 1970, the playground was officially named Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Park. The park has benches, play equipment with safety surfacing, a flagpole with yardarm, spray shower, swings for tots, basketball and handball courts, a drinking fountain, and grassy play area. The new renovation added a new comfort station.
4. Arrochar Playground in Staten Island
Cost: $5.1 million
Arrochar Playground has handball and basketball courts, a softball field, and play unit. There is also a sculpture of a sea mammal to evoke the waterways around Staten Island. In 1997, a $75,000 renovation added almost all of the features that exist in the playground today. In 1998, there was an additional $10,000+ in renovations to refurbish the play equipment and handball courts, added a cover of rubber safety surfacing and renovated the sidewalks and pavement. The new investment provided new roofs and a new comfort station
5. Grassmere Playground in Rockaway, Queens
Cost: $3.3 million
Grassmere playground dates from 1985 but really came into its own in 1998, when Mayor Giuliani provided $150,338 for a reconstruction. The city installed new play equipment with safety surfacing, handball courts, asphalt baseball diamond, benches, sidewalks, paths, and paving surfacing were laid. Additional equipment includes a basketball hoop, swings, and a flagpole with a yardarm.
It is not clear what’s more exciting, the five openings in one day or tracking Commissioner Silver’s race around the borough park marathon.
- The second phase of Hunters Point South Park will be ready for visitors by summer
- Central Park’s Belvedere Castle will close for restoration next week
- A 407-acre state park will replace a landfill in Central Brooklyn next year