FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, June 04, 2018
NYC PARKS CUTS RIBBONS ON NEARLY $8 MILLION RENOVATIONS OF MCDONALD AND LEVY PLAYGROUNDS
NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP, joined Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Director of Ecological Services John McLaughlin, New York City Council Member Debi Rose, Staten Island Deputy Borough President Ed Burke and community members to cut the ribbons on the newly reconstructed Austin J. McDonald and Levy Playgrounds on Friday, June 1. McDonald and Levy Playgrounds, respectively, are the third and fourth Community Parks Initiative (CPI) sites to open in Staten Island after undergoing a combined $7.9 million reconstruction; with $6.4 million in funding from Mayor Bill de Blasio and $2.6 million from the DEP.
“New Yorkers in every community should have access to neighborhood parks where they can explore, relax, and exercise their bodies and minds,” said Commissioner Silver. “I am happy that community members will now be able to find all of that here at McDonald and Levy Playgrounds. With the unveiling of the new amenities and improved green space at these sites, I believe we are taking a step forward to make parks on Staten Island more equitable and accessible.”
“These new refurbished playgrounds are a terrific community amenity, and because they now include green infrastructure they are playing an important role in managing stormwater to reduce flooding and improve the environment,” said DEP Commissioner Vincent Sapienza. “We thank Commissioner Silver and his team at NYC Parks for being such terrific partners in our efforts to green the five boroughs.”
“I am thankful to see these investments being made in our parks which will allow them to benefit the public for years to come,” said Staten Island Borough President James Oddo. “Staten Islanders of all ages will be able to enjoy the newly renovated spaces at McDonald and Levy Playgrounds. It is my hope that the new improvements encourage people to get up and get active. Thank you to Mayor de Blasio and DEP for funding these necessary upgrades.”
"Another set of great upgrades which are sure to be warmly welcome are coming online just in time for the summer months. I know that everyone is excited for these upgrades and I want to thank everyone involved in the Community Parks Initiative to see these vital projects through," said New York State Senator Diane Savino.
“West Brighton and Port Richmond are densely populated neighborhoods, and McDonald and Levy playgrounds have long been refuges for children to play after school, on weekends and throughout long, hot summers,” said Council Member Rose. “Today, we celebrate their rebirth, with new playgrounds, landscaping and more. I thank my colleagues in government for recognizing the importance of our parks and for making these investments, which will make a world of difference for generations of North Shore residents.”
McDonald and Levy Playgrounds are two of the seven CPI sites in Staten Island.
About McDonald Playground
McDonald Playground has undergone a complete transformation and boasts improvements including new spray showers, an adult fitness area, new play equipment, renovated basketball courts, a redesigned landscape with more green space and accessibility in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The park design is based on feedback gathered directly from the community at public input sessions. The reconstruction was funded by $4.5 million from Mayor de Blasio through CPI and $970,000 from the DEP.
About Levy Playgroud
Following an extensive revamp, Levy Playground is now home to new play equipment for children of all ages, a renovated basketball court, interactive water features and spray showers, safety surfacing and landscape improvements. Along with these new amenities, the playground now has ADA compliant drinking fountains and play equipment to improve access for all parkgoers. This project was funded with a $2.5 million allocation; with $1.9 million from Mayor Bill de Blasio
and $675,000 from the Department of Environmental Protection DEP. Additionally, under a
separate contract Levy Playground will complete the reconstruction of its field house which
will provide a multi-functional community space.
In addition to these upgrades, McDonald and Levy Playgrounds will open redesigned
comfort stations in the fall.
Both parks include green infrastructure to manage storm water runoff, developed by NYC Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). The DEP has committed approximately $50 million in funding for green infrastructure installations at CPI sites throughout the city, helping to reduce flooding, improve air quality and lower summertime temperatures.
Launched by Mayor de Blasio in October 2014, CPI strives to make NYC Parks a more equitable and accessible parks system by investing in smaller parks that are located in New York City’s densely-populated neighborhoods with higher-than-average concentrations of poverty. Through CPI, the City is investing $318 million in capital dollars to make renovations to 67 parks citywide that have not undergone significant improvements in decades.