PlaNYC Regional Park Survey Results
On Earth Day 2007, Mayor Bloomberg unveiled PlaNYC, a sweeping roadmap to the sustainable growth of New York City. A long-term planning vision and a total of $1.2 billion in new funding for projects citywide comes on top of the largest capital investment in New York City parks since the 1930s.
Along with planting one million trees, greening 800 traffic triangles and opening playgrounds and ballfields around the City, PlaNYC commits an additional $400 million to design and build eight underdeveloped regional parks across the City: Soundview, Dreier-Offerman, McCarren, Fort Washington, Highbridge, Highland, Rockaways and Ocean Breeze Parks.
PlaNYC creates an exciting opportunity for New Yorkers to have a say in the future of parks in their neighborhood, and so the Department of Parks & Recreation and Partnerships for Parks embarked on an unprecedented effort to gather community input into the design of these regional parks. Listening sessions were hosted by the Parks Department in each borough, and Parks collected surveys online and in your neighborhood. Partnerships for Parks, a joint program of the Parks Department and the City Parks Foundation, and neighborhood groups collected surveys during July and August to ensure broad community input about their future design and amenities. Summaries of the results are available below.
To request copies of the surveys, survey results, or to get involved in your neighborhood park, please contact Partnerships for Parks at 212-360-1310.
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McCarren Park Pool
McCarren Pool was one of eleven pools opened by Robert Moses in 1936. With a capacity of 6800, it was the summertime social hub for Greenpoint and Williamsburg. The pool was closed in 1984 and remained closed until the summer of 2005, when it opened as a popular venue for concerts, dance, and movies.
The $50 million that has been allocated to McCarren Pool will fund the renovation of the pool for swimming, the construction of a year-round recreation center, and the preservation and restoration of the historic bathhouse building and entry arch.
Many thanks to the Open Space Alliance for North Brooklyn for their commitment to the park and participation in survey administration. For more information about OSA, please visit their website.
Far Rockaway Beach
The Rockaways have been a recreational haven for New Yorkers for over 100 years and provide recreational opportunities for millions of people every year. Housing development in the area has increased the need for a wider range of amenities that will delight future park users.
The $40 million that has been allocated will improve the boardwalk and adjacent parkland at Far Rockaway Beach between Beach 9th and 31st Streets. Potential amenities include new recreation areas, bathrooms, concessions, new parks and playgrounds, parking and boardwalks.
The High Bridge
The High Bridge was completed in 1848 as part of the Old Croton Aqueduct, which first brought fresh water to New York City from Westchester County and fueled the city?s northern expansion. One of the city?s oldest standing bridges, it spans the Harlem River, connecting Manhattan and the Bronx, and has been closed for over 30 years.
The $60 million that Mayor Bloomberg has allocated to the High Bridge, along with an additional $5 million from Congressman Jose Serrano, will allow the Parks Department to rehabilitate and reopen the bridge. The reopened High Bridge will be an essential link in New York City?s expanding waterfront Greenway, with new pedestrian and bicycle access to the Highbridge Parks, Pool and Recreation center, for Bronx and Manhattan residents. The rehabilitation will follow historic preservation principles to restore the architectural details of this landmarked structure for public enjoyment.
Many thanks to the High Bridge Coalition for their commitment to the bridge and surrounding parks and participation in survey administration. For more information about the Coalition, please visit their website.
Fort Washington Park
Fort Washington Park is a natural and scenic park, a 160-acre strip of dramatic cliffs and grassy meadows along the Hudson River from 145th Street to Dyckman Street. Highlights of the park include views of the Palisades and Hudson River, the Little Red Lighthouse and the George Washington Bridge. Never fully developed, the Mayor?s plan is an opportunity to fully realize one of the last undeveloped jewels of northern Manhattan.
The $40 million that has been allocated to Fort Washington Park will fund improvements to the park infrastructure and create a new destination park for the 21st century. Potential amenities include a bike and pedestrian network, active and passive recreation areas, playgrounds, concessions, bathrooms and historic structures.
The former Ridgewood Reservoir, nestled in the broader expanse of Highland Park, was built in 1856 on a natural basin. The reservoir was used until 1959 and served as a backup water supply for Brooklyn and Queens until 1989. Today the 50-acre site on the Brooklyn/Queens border consists of three reservoir basins, pump houses and a caretaker?s cottage. The majority of the site is undeveloped, creating a striking natural setting with incredible potential for community access.
The $50 million that has been allocated will reconstruct Highland Park?s infrastructure and develop a new destination park. Potential improvements include a pedestrian network, new and enhanced active and passive recreation areas, new playgrounds, concessions and improved park structures.
Soundview Park was built on a landfill in the South Bronx. Today the 212-acre park offers the surrounding community six grass baseball fields, one cricket pitch, one track, a playground, and a soccer field. Even with those facilities, we can do more. There are 93 acres that could provide additional recreational space for the underserved and growing South Bronx community.
The $36 million that has been allocated to Soundview Park will fund improvements to the entire park and vastly improve this regional park. Improvements include a restored salt marsh and rehabilitated athletic fields.