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The Daily Plant : Monday, November 15, 2010

Parks Breaks Ground At Two New Sites In Staten Island

Commissioner Benepe joined elected officials to break ground on two new parks in Staten Island last week.
Daniel Avila

Last week, Parks officially broke ground on two brand new parks in Staten Island. It was the fifth official Parks event in the borough in the last three weeks. Commissioner Adrian Benepe first joined Deputy Borough President Ed Burke, Mark Russo of Friends of Abandoned Ceremonies and Janice Blanchard of the Travis Fourth of July Parade Committee to break ground on a $1.2-million construction project at Independence Park in the Travis community of Staten Island.

Later in the day, Commissioner Benepe dug into a $2.5-million project to construct a synthetic turf playing field and tot lot at New Dorp Beach. He was joined by Borough President James Molinaro, Council Member Vincent Ignizio, Assemblywoman Elect Nicole Malliotakis and Congressman Elect Michael Grimm to celebrate the new field.

Since October 26, Parks has celebrated five projects in the borough. Commissioner Benepe visited Staten Island to cut the ribbon on Seaside Nature Park Playground and Corporal Thompson Track & Field, then joined Mayor Bloomberg to break ground at Schmul Park on October 27 before breaking ground at Independence Park and the New Dorp synthetic turf field last Tuesday, November 9.

Borough President Molinaro allocated funding for both projects, which represented a $3.7-million investment in public parks. Construction at New Dorp field is already underway. Independence Park will be opened to the public in time for Travis’ 2011 Fourth of July Parade.

Independence Park will share ground with historic Sylvan Grove Cemetery, which has been restored and maintained by the Friends of Abandoned Cemeteries. Parks will consult with an archaeologist and work with Friends of Abandoned Cemeteries throughout the construction process to consider the cemetery’s specific needs and to ensure that the centuries-old site is undisturbed.

Independence Park was once a stronghold for British soldiers in a loyalist Staten Island neighborhood, and it is also the final stop for Travis’ long-running, vibrant Fourth of July Parade, which will celebrate its 101st anniversary on July 4, 2011.

Parks will clear invasive plants at the site and build a timber barrier rail around the perimeter with stone piers at the entrances. In addition to the installation of new paths, pavements, and plantings, Parks will install benches and a flag pole at a central gathering place, which will accommodate the crowds generated by the annual parade. The park was designed by Parks Landscape Architect Tara Valenta and will be built by Ravine Construction, Inc.

At New Dorp Park, Parks will construct a synthetic turf football and soccer field and a tot playground. The project was designed by Parks Designer Gabriella Keller and will be built by Argus Construction & Equipment, Inc. The site will feature modern designs, including an ADA-accessible route from the street to the park, and a drainage system that will incorporate bioretention to filter storm water runoff through native plants and protect the natural environment. In order to provide recreational play for all, Parks designed the playground to be accessible to children of all ages and abilities.

Staten Island is home to a number of those facilities, including the recently opened synthetic turf field at Corporal Thompson Park. Parks is also constructing a 135,000 square foot complex indoor track at Ocean Breeze Park in Staten Island.

QUOTATION FOR THE DAY
“I am a kind of paranoiac in reverse. I suspect people of plotting to make me happy.”
J.D. Salinger
(1919 - 2010)

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