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Flushing Meadows Corona Park

The Daily Plant : Tuesday, June 3, 2003

WILLOW LAKE PLAYGROUND GETS $1.4 MILLION FACELIFT


On Friday, May 30, with the sun shining brightly, Parks & Recreation celebrated the start of the reconstruction of Willow Lake Playground in Forest Hills, Queens. Parks & Recreation Queens Borough Commissioner Richard Murphy joined Council Member Jim Gennaro, District Manager of Community Board 6 Kathleen Reilly and Principal of P.S. 196 Sylvia Hammer along with P.S. 196 students and parents from P.S. 196 to break ground for the improved play space.

Former Council Member Morton Povman allocated $1.4 million to reconstruct Willow Lake Playground. Parks & Recreation's Landscape Architect Steve Whitesell designed the new playground with input from the students and parents of P.S. 196.

"This playground is truly a community effort," said Queens Commissioner Murphy. "The children of P.S. 196 and their parents have been our partners throughout this entire process. We look forward to working together to care for this terrific new playground."

Seniors from nearby Willow Court also came out to celebrate the ground breaking and groove to the melodies of P.S. 196's award winning chorus. "Willow Lake Playground will act as a bridge, bringing the young and young at heart together to enjoy the outdoors," said Queens Chief of Staff Joanne Amagrande.

Elementary school children will enjoy the new state-of-the-art play equipment complete with safety surfacing while toddlers will enjoy swings designed just for them. The new benches and plantings will give everyone a perfect spot to relax. Children of all ages will enjoy painted games such as Potsy and Skelly. Park goers will also be able to play on the renovated handball and basketball courts.

The new spray shower area will contain a unique ceramic tile mural with images of pond insects by Manhattan artist Kathleen McCarthy. The water jets will shoot up from the ground cooling off the kids as they play among the Water Striders, Damselflies, Whirligigs, and Springtails. Resident Engineer Mohammed Ayoub is overseeing the construction aspects of the project.

Willow Lake Playground, located next to P.S. 196 on Grand Central Parkway between 71st and 72nd Avenues, is jointly operated by the Board of Education and Parks. The playground draws its name from nearby Willow Lake in Flushing Meadows Corona Park and is one of many New York parks built under the supervision of Robert Moses. In fact, Willow Lake Playground was the 634th playground to be constructed under his watch. The latest reconstruction of Willow Lake Playground is scheduled to be complete in winter of 2003.

Written by Jocelyn Aframe

QUOTATION FOR THE DAY

"What is this life if, full of care,

We have no time to stand and stare?"

W. H. Davies

(1871-1940)

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