Flushing Meadows Corona Park
Grand Central Pkwy., Whitestone Exwy. bet. 111 St. and College Point Blvd., Park Drive E.
Queens, 11354, 11355, 11367, 11368
Directions via Google Maps
The Daily Plant : Wednesday, June 11, 2003
ALL FOR 70 AND 70 FOR ALL
Yesterday was a extraordinary day. The sun was shining, the temperature reached above 80 degrees, and a completely-transformed playground opened to the delight of over 700 enthusiastic children. Playground 70, located on West 70th Street between Amsterdam and West End Avenue, is now a playground for all children. Manhattan Borough President C. Virginia Fields, Council Member Gail Brewer and Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe joined hundreds of children from P.S. 199 to celebrate the completion of Playground 70 after its $1.1 million reconstruction. They were also joined by the National Center for Boundless Playgrounds Executive Director Amy Barzach, P.S. 199 Principal Carol Stock, and Community Board 7 Chair Emeritus Eric Nelson.
"Working in partnership with the National Center for Boundless Playgrounds, we have beautifully transformed this play area so that it is now accessible to children of all ages and abilities," said Commissioner Benepe.
"Play is important for all children, regardless of their abilities," said Ms. Barzach. "It’s inspiring to work with the New York City Parks & Recreation Department that shares our vision to provide playgrounds where children of all abilities can play together."
The event kicked off when the P.S. 199 color guard—all fifth graders—marched gloriously into the playground with the American, New York City and Parks & Recreation flags. What followed was an impressive recital of the Pledge of Allegiance and the Star-spangled Banner by the children, parents and teachers in attendance.
Borough President Fields, who allocated $300,000 for the reconstruction, expressed enthusiasm about the finished project. "We want to be concerned about the physical exercise of the children," said Fields. "I’m delighted to work with our Parks Commissioner to build a safe environment for children to play."
The history of playgrounds for children of all abilities begins in New York City, with the "Playground For All Children" in Flushing Meadows Corona Park Originally built in the late 1970s, after a design competition was held the playground opened in 1984. That play space is currently undergoing a $4 million renovation that is expected to be completed this fall.
Plans to convert Playground 70 into a fully-accessible playground began several years ago. Parks & Recreation designer Claire Dudley worked with parents, children and Boundless Playgrounds to develop the playground. Work began in July 2002 and was completed this month (right on schedule). In addition to the $300,000 from the Borough President, an additional $800,000 was allocated by the City Council.
Renovations included the construction of a Children’s Garden with accessible bridges running across it, musical instruments built into the play space, and basketball courts with adjustable basketball backstops that can be lowered for athletes in wheelchairs. The comfort station was also refurbished and picnic tables were constructed to allow handicap access. A much-loved camel sculpture was also restored, and kids cheered its recovery.
A spray shower with a map of the United States in colored concrete was also added. Children celebrated its turning on by singing a song about the states entitled "Fifty Nifty" and then by dancing under the shower’s sprays.
Working with Parks & Recreation, Playground 70 marks the first Boundless Playgrounds project in Manhattan. Boundless Playgrounds, a national nonprofit organization assists communities to develop playgrounds that are universally accessible and fully integrated, where children of all abilities can play together. To date, 49 Boundless Playgrounds have been completed across the country, and 100 more are underway.
Written by Eric Adolfsen
QUOTATION FOR THE DAY
"It’s all in a day’s work."
Directions to Flushing Meadows Corona Park
- Sustainable Parks Corner
- Parks Recreation Programs Lead To A Healthy Success Story!
- Parks Cuts Ribbon On Improvements To Flushing Meadows Corona Park
- Adaptive Sports Field Day
- Historic New York: The World's Fair
- 25th Annual Vehicle & Equipment Show
- Shakespeare in the Park Presents "The Tempest"
- Movies in the Park Presents "Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted"
- Barbecuing Areas
- Baseball Fields
- Basketball Courts
- Bicycling and Greenways
- Dog-friendly Areas
- Fitness Equipment
- Football Fields
- Golf Courses
- Handball Courts
- Ice Skating Rinks
- Kayak/Canoe Launch Sites
- Model Aircraft Fields
- Paddleboat Rentals
- Recreation Centers
- Skate Parks
- Soccer Fields
- Spray Showers
- Tennis Courts
- Water Fountains
- Zoos and Aquariums
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