Elmhurst Park Receives Big Apple Brownfield AwardIMMEDIATE
Monday, April 13, 2009
Last week, Deputy Mayor Ed Skyler, Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 2 Executive Director George Pavlou, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Deputy Commissioner Val Washington, and brownfield managers from around the city gathered at the Museum of the City of New York to honor some of the best remediation projects by the City and public and private businesses. Parks Department staff received the Open Space award for their work on Elmhurst Park, the former site of the Keyspan gas tanks.
“Thanks to Mayor Bloomberg’s commitment to open space and parks, we are building innovative parks and facilities at an unprecedented scale, by transforming brownfields, former landfills, vacant buildings, and abandoned lots into vibrant destinations for active recreation,” said Commissioner Benepe. “It is an honor to receive the Open Space Award from the NYC Partnerships of Brownfield Practitioners, on behalf of the extraordinary women and men who do the design and engineering of our parks. Elmhurst Park is a badly needed addition to the Queens community and we’re proud of the progress we’ve made building a new park.”
On April 13, the Museum of the City of New York partnered with the NYC Partnership of Brownfield Practitioners to host the first annual Big Apple Brownfield Awards. The event was held in conjunction with the museums current exhibition titled "Growing and Greening New York: PIaNYC and the Future of the City,” which will be open to the public through April 22 and highlights the various initiatives outlined in PIaNYC to achieve environmental sustainability in New York City. The Brownfield Award program aims to recognize the most creative and innovative brownfield projects in New York City as a means to celebrate the cleanup and redevelopment of these sites.
In 2005, Keyspan, now called National Grid, sold the 6-acre site, known as Elmhurst Park, to the City for $1.00. The land was home to Keyspan’s Newtown Gas Holders, popularly known as the Elmhurst Gas Tanks. The community asked for a park in this dense Queens community.
Phase I of the $20 million project is complete and included new clean fill, topsoil and perimeter sidewalks, street trees, fencing and gates. Future phases will include a small playground, walking paths, a comfort station, a flagpole, a kinetic sculpture, benches, a quiet sitting area, a synthetic turf play area and additional plantings. The second phase of the project is scheduled to begin this fall.
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