Pelham Bay Park
Parks Kicks Off Summer 2007 Swim Season With Ceremonial Beach Opening At Orchard BeachFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe today joined Assemblyman Michael Benedetto, Assemblyman Jose Rivera, Council Member James Vacca, Deputy Borough President Earl Brown, and fifth and sixth-graders from P.S. 86 at Orchard Beach to kick off summer swim season with the first of four ceremonial beach openings taking place citywide this week to announce the official beginning of beach season. The City’s beaches will open to the public on Saturday, May 26, with lifeguards on duty daily, from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Swimming is strictly prohibited at all other times. Beaches will remain open through Labor Day weekend.
"New York City’s beaches provide millions of New Yorkers a spectacular natural setting to have fun in the sun," said Commissioner Benepe. "With over 1.5 million visitors to Orchard Beach last summer and with the upcoming multi-million dollar renovation of the historic Pavilion, this mile-long beach will continue to live up to it's nickname, the Riviera of the Bronx. This summer, as always, we remind beach-goers to observe all beach rules and regulations, and most importantly, to only swim when a lifeguard is on duty."
Parks announced the upcoming restoration of Orchard Beach Pavilion, which dates to the 1930’s and was last year designated a New York City landmark. Renovation work will stabilize and restore the building with original historical design elements, including a new façade, support columns, and structural slabs. Currently in the design phase, the project has been allocated $6 million from Croton Filtration Plant Mitigation Funds.
Officials also announced the debut of the AeroBalloon this summer at Orchard Beach. This silent and non-polluting giant tethered helium balloon ride will be available to the public beginning mid-June. For a modest fee and under the supervision of a certified AeroBalloon pilot, beach-goers can take a 15-minute ride in a wicker gondola that will lift them to approximately 350 feet into the air for a 360-degree view of Orchard Beach and Pelham Bay Park.
City beaches span a total of 14 miles at seven locations, including Orchard Beach in the Bronx; Brighton Beach, Coney Island, and Manhattan Beach in Brooklyn; Rockaway Beach in Queens; and Midland Beach, South Beach, and Wolfe’s Pond Beach in Staten Island. All City beaches are free to the public. Last summer, over 20 million people visited the City’s beaches.
Over the past five years, Parks & Recreation has spent over $50 million on improvements to New York City’s beaches, and there is an additional $10 million worth of ongoing improvements. At Orchard Beach in the Bronx, the historic, landmark pavilion will undergo $6 million in renovations to stabilize the structure and reconstruct historical elements. In Staten Island, a new beachfront greenway connects national park areas in Fort Wadsworth to South Beach and continuing south to Miller Field. At Rockaway Beach in Queens, the City’s first designated surfing area expands this summer from 88th to 92nd streets to include 67th to 69th streets, and there is a new accessible comfort station at 117th Street as well as the Flight 587 memorial at 116th Street. In Brooklyn, Coney Island features 95 newly-replaced historic boardwalk lights and will welcome professional volleyball at the beach for the second consecutive summer. In addition, this season Parks is unveiling "mobimats," or ADA-accessible beach mats that provide beach-goers who use wheelchairs, walkers, and other rolling devices, to travel from the boardwalk to the water’s edge. Accessible mats will be placed in Rockaway Beach in Queens, Brighton Beach in Brooklyn, Orchard Beach in the Bronx, and Midland Beach on Staten Island.
Directions to Pelham Bay Park
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