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Van Cortlandt Park

The Daily Plant : Thursday, July 12, 2007

First Croton Funded Playground Is Complete


Photo by Daniel Avila

On June 28, Commissioner Adrian Benepe joined State Senator Jeffrey Klein, State Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) officials, and local children to cut the ribbon on the new $2.9 million Sachkerah Woods Playground in Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx.

The playground was funded by $2.8 million from Croton Filtration Funding and $170,000 from Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrión, Jr. The reconstruction features new golf-themed play equipment, a spray shower, a comfort station, drinking fountains, benches, fencing, and surrounding park paths.

“Sachkerah Woods Playground is a beautiful new playground and it is the first completely new playground coming out of Croton Filtration Plant funding,” said Commissioner Benepe. “The completion of this project represents the more than $200 million generated by the construction of the filtration plant being reinvested directly back into more than 70 Bronx parks.”

“Not only will the Croton Filter Plant ensure that New York City’s water remains of the highest quality, but the project will also directly benefit the residents of the Bronx by renovating numerous parks and providing New Yorkers of all ages with increased recreational opportunities,” said DEP Commissioner Emily Lloyd. “Both of these items are important components of Mayor Bloomberg’s robust PlaNYC initiative and key aspects of a better, more sustainable City.”

Honoring the Mosholu Golf Course, which opened on the site in 1914, the golf-themed playground features a spray shower in the form of a 19th hole flag, green-colored concrete representing the putting green, and safety surfacing mimicking white concrete sand traps. In addition, oversized golf balls function as creative climbing apparatuses for children. The new comfort station is clad with Corinthian granite set in a random ashlar pattern, and its roof is covered with pink and gray slate. In addition, the surrounding paths help to improve the park's east-west internal pedestrian circulation, which was interrupted in the 1950s by the creation of the Mosholu Parkway and the Major Deegan Expressway.

Bordering the neighborhoods of Norwood and Bedford Park, Sachkerah Woods Playground creates an exciting new entrance to Van Cortlandt Park, New York City’s fourth largest park. The playground site has evolved as Van Cortlandt Park has evolved over time. The lands encompassing Van Cortlandt Park were once inhabited by the Lenape, a local Native American people that hunted in the woodlands and farmed on nearby flat, fertile grounds. “Sachkerah” is an Algonquian name that has been loosely translated as “extended land.” In 1914, the site was incorporated into the 18-hole Mosholu Golf Course. In 1989, when the course was reconfigured to a 9-hole course, the site was part of the 11 new acres of green space that opened up to the community.

In September 2004, the City Council approved a Memorandum of Understanding with New York State allowing the City to move forward with the construction of a water filtration plant for the Croton Water Supply under the Mosholu Golf Course in Van Cortlandt Park. As part of the agreement, more than $200 million will be spent on improvements to over 70 Bronx parks over the next five years.

Sachkerah Woods Playground is one of ten completed Croton Projects, representing a total of approximately $12 million. There are nine projects totaling $19 million currently in construction and 33 projects totaling $85 million currently in design. The remaining Croton Projects, which have been scheduled to start design over the course of the next two months, represent $74 million.


QUOTATION FOR THE DAY

“Art is science made clear.”

Jean Cocteau
(1889 – 1963)

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