Daily Plant Masthead

Volume XXIV, Number 5011
Tuesday, Aug 11, 2009

Parks Breaks Ground on Hester Street Playground

On August 6, Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe joined Lower Manhattan Development Corporation Director of Planning and Development Sayar Lonial, Community Board 3 Chair Dominic Pisciotta, Hester Street Collaborative Program Manager Dylan House, SDR Coalition Member Kathleen Webster, and children from the Al Smith Recreation Center summer camp and the Chinatown YMCA to break ground on nearly $5 million in improvements to Hester Street Playground.

“The revitalization of Hester Street Playground is another example of how we are revitalizing the parks in Lower Manhattan by expanding recreational opportunities and making our play spaces better and greener,” said Commissioner Benepe. “Thanks to nearly $5 million in funds from the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, City Council Member Alan Gerson and a New York State grant, the project is transforming a dilapidated 1980s era playground into an oasis with state-of-the-art play equipment and new restrooms. It is also a textbook example of collaborative design, with leadership from the Hester Street Collaborative and the SDR Coalition who solicited ideas from community residents - youths and adults - and involved them in helping design the new playground.”

Thanks to over $4.4 million from the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, $250,000 from Council Member Gerson and $250,000 from a New York State Environmental Protection Fund grant, this project will transform a 1980’s era playground into a playground with state-of-the-art play equipment. It will also add accessible public restrooms to the southern end of Sara D. Roosevelt Park.

The new playground will provide a safe, clean and exciting new play space for children in Chinatown and the Lower East Side. It will include accessible play equipment, a spray shower, benches, drinking fountains and lighting. The plaza area will be reconstructed and include new paving, seating and tables. Trees, shrubs and mixed plants will be included, and public restrooms will be constructed within the existing park building.


Registration for the third session of Parks’ Learn to Swim program is tomorrow, Wednesday, August 12. This is the final session of the program this summer, and the last chance to take part in this free outdoor instructional program this season.

Learn to Swim is hosted by Parks & Recreation and the City Parks Foundation with the support of the American Red Cross, in 35 outdoor pools throughout the city. The program teaches tots (ages 1½ - 5) and children (ages 6 - 14) basic water safety and swimming skills. The third session of the program runs from August 13th through 28th. Breakfast is provided by the SchoolFood Summer Meals Program at select locations.

Program registration is taken on a first-come first-served basis at each pool on August 12th from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., so arrive early. For more information on specific pool sites, visit www.nyc.gov/parks, or call 311 or Parks Citywide Aquatics at (718) 760-6969.

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