FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Parks Cuts The Ribbon At New Blue Heron Tot Lot
PARKS CUTS THE RIBBON AT NEW BLUE HERON TOT LOT
New York City Department of Parks & Recreation Staten Island Commissioner Adena Long joined Borough President Molinaro, Assembly Member Joseph Borelli, New York State Senator Andrew Lanza, representatives from Community Board 3, school kids from P.S. 31, and Jack and Lois Baird, to cut the ribbon on a newly constructed tot lot playground in Blue Heron Park yesterday.
This new tot lot was constructed thanks to a generous allocation of $500,000 from Borough President Molinaro, part of a larger allocation by the Borough President of $2.5 million, which allowed Parks to construct five tot lots in various neighborhoods across the borough, at Silver Lake Park, Drumgoole Road in Annadale, the Greenbelt, New Dorp Beach Park, and now Blue Heron Park.
“Kids of all abilities now have another innovative, natural place to play in Staten Island,” said Commissioner Long. “Thanks to $500,000 allocated by Borough President James Molinaro, Parks was able to construct a brand new accessible tot lot for the south shore’s children to enjoy.”
Borough President James P. Molinaro said, “I am delighted to cut the ribbon on the fifth and last tot lot that my office funded in communities all across Staten Island. These ‘new generation’ park playgrounds are colorful, sun-safe, imaginative, and most importantly, accessible, so that all of the neighborhood’s children feel welcome to play together, regardless of abilities.”
Parks created a woodland imagination play area for community children of all abilities between the ages of two and five, enhanced the Nature Center program space with interactive play components, integrated sustainable solutions within existing ecology, and stabilized the trail with a bioengineered swale.
Site accessible routes connect entry and exit points into and through the playground to accessible playground features. Natural elements such as boulders, logs and native plantings were added to enhance the play environment.
Blue Heron Park has become an outstanding wildlife sanctuary and educational resource. Thanks to the advocacy work of Jack and Lois Baird, and the Friends of Blue Heron Park, the years have seen it transformed from a wasteland filled with abandoned cars to a peaceful refuge of walking trails, meadows, ponds, streams, and woodlands.
The City acquired this parkland in several segments between 1974 and 2001. The Nature Center, set just inside the Poillon Avenue entrance to the park, contains several classrooms, exhibit areas and a library. It also has two observation decks with bird feeders and a mist net for bird banding - ideal conditions for bird watching and picnic tables for anyone to use. A wide variety of arts and educational programming is provided by the Urban Park Rangers and the Friends of Blue Heron Park. The offerings include nature walks, classes, crafts, zoo animals, storytelling, and special holiday events.
The park also has six ponds, among them the 1.75-acre Spring Pond and the 1.4-acre Blue Heron Pond, crossed by a popular footbridge. These kettle ponds were formed 15,000 years ago by the retreating Wisconsin glacier.
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