Parks & Recreation Cuts Ribbon On Renovated Webster Playground
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe, Assembly Member Jose Rivera, Council Member Joel Rivera, Department of Environmental Protection representatives, and approximately 65 kids from local summer camps commemorated the renovations at Webster Playground this morning. Croton Filtration Funding provided $1.45 million for improvements that bring new modern play equipment with safety surfacing, as well as a flowing stream water feature that includes boulders, a rock outcrop and a decorative bridge. The reconstruction also included new basketball and handball courts, an adult exercise unit, and new fencing, seating, paving, and plantings.
"Webster Playground is a beautiful new urban oasis and it represents over $200 million generated by the construction of the Croton Water Filtration Plant being reinvested directly back into more than 70 Bronx parks," said Commissioner Benepe. "As we encourage our local children to develop their bodies and minds, Webster Playground provides new play equipment, basketball and handball courts, and a spray shower - the perfect place to cool off from the summer heat."
After vying with the Department of Health for the property, Parks Commissioner Robert Moses opened the playground on July 28, 1953. The playground is named for nearby Webster Avenue, whose namesake is debated. The three noted figures for whom the avenue may have been named include Joseph Outen Bogart Webster who surveyed the road, Albert L. Webster who worked for the Department of Public Works during the road’s lengthening and U.S. lawyer and statesman Daniel Webster.
In September 2004, the City Council approved a Memorandum of Understanding with New York State allowing the City to move forward with the construction of a water filtration plant for the Croton Water Supply under the Mosholu Golf Course in Van Cortlandt Park. As part of the agreement, more than $220 million will be spent on improvements to over 70 Bronx parks over the next five years.
Webster Playground is one of ten completed Croton Projects, representing a total of approximately $12 million. There are nine projects totaling $19 million currently in construction and 55 projects totaling $158 million currently in design.
Over the past five years, Parks & Recreation has invested more than $125 million for Bronx park improvements, including new waterfront parks, greenways, and recreational facilities. Over the next five years, Parks will invest an additional $560 million to develop park projects in the Bronx, including more than $98 million from Mayor Bloomberg’s PlaNYC initiative to establish the sustainable growth of New York City by the year 2030, which includes developing Soundview and High Bridge Parks into the Bronx’s next great, regional parks.
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