The Daily Plant : Tuesday, February 11, 2003
TAKE OFF YOUR MITTENS & GRAB A CATCHER'S GLOVE: NEW FIELDS COME TO STATEN ISLAND
"Neither snow nor rain nor heat" nor frozen soil can prevent Parks & Recreation from the completion of their appointed groundbreakings. As a soft snow blanketed the City on Friday, February 7, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Staten Island Borough President James P. Molinaro joined Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe, DDC Commissioner Kenneth Holden, Council Member Andrew Lanza and Staten Island Borough Parks Commissioner Thomas Paulo to toss fresh soil at the groundbreaking for Bloomingdale Park on Staten Island’s South Shore.
During the summer, Commissioner Benepe invoked the popular lyrics of SpongeBob SquarePants to delight audiences young at heart, and now with winter set in, the Commissioner turned to citing Robert Frost to warm up the crowd. At Friday’s event, Commissioner Benepe quoted the first stanza of Frost’s famous poem "Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening."
Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
Bloomingdale Park’s snow-filled woods will offer Staten Islanders a brand new place to catch fly balls and dribble down center court by Spring 2004. The plans call for three fields for softball, baseball, and soccer and two basketball courts. A playground, including a spray shower, play equipment, swings and a new comfort station will be installed, and bocce players will not be disappointed with their new courts. The new paths, including a perimeter greenway, an asphalt service path, a stone screening footpath, bridges and wetland boardwalks will be perfect for exploring the park. DDC will manage the construction of this project, which will cost approximately $9.1 million. Bloomingdale Park is the largest park development project begun during the Bloomberg Administration.
"I am proud to preside over the groundbreaking ceremony at Bloomingdale Park on the South Shore, the fastest growing neighborhood of the City’s fastest growing borough Staten Island," Mayor Bloomberg said.
"Staten Island continues to be the leader in New York City parkland and this project is the largest park construction project in recent memory," Commissioner Benepe added. "The development of Bloomingdale Park will provide new fields for sports as well as increased access to the beautiful forests there."
Staten Island Borough President Molinaro echoed his support. "The groundbreaking for Bloomingdale Park is a banner day for the children of Staten Island, who have waited so long for ball fields and soccer fields on the South Shore."
DDC is also managing the next phase of the Department of Environmental Protection’s $23.7 million sanitary and storm sewer project near the new park. The first phase will go below Bloomingdale Park, along Maguire Avenue from Drumgoole Road West to Ramona Avenue and left to Helene Court. This phase began last month, and is scheduled to be complete this summer. A second phase will begin later this year to provide the community with sewers to help control flooding.
When the sub-surface work is completed, the Department of Transportation will begin a $6.5 million project to provide additional public access to Bloomingdale Park. A new road will extend about 450 feet from Ramona Avenue into Maguire Avenue featuring a cul-de-sac. Ramona Avenue will be reconstructed with curbs, a storm sewer, a new concrete base, and resurfacing from Maguire to Lenevar Avenues.
This summer, Parks & Recreation will begin to develop another new park on the South Shore called Charleston Park. The 42-acre park, with its five athletic fields, will surpass Bloomingdale Park in size and construction. Charleston Park is expected to be complete in the fall of 2004.
In total, when Bloomingdale Park and Charleston Park are finished, Staten Islanders will have approximately 20 acres more parkland for baseball, softball, soccer and other sports. Thanks to the improved trails, hikers will be have new access to explore over 30 acres of natural terrain.
Written by Jocelyn Aframe
QUOTATION FOR THE DAY
"Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration."
(February 11, 1847-1931)