Press Releases

Wednesday, January 30, 2019
No. 6


Third of five Anchor Parks projects citywide to begin construction

NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP, yesterday joined City Council Member Diana Ayala and community members to break ground on the first phase of construction at St. Mary’s Park in the Bronx. The third of five Anchor Parks projects citywide to begin construction, this part of the park is anticipated to be completed in spring 2020.

Launched by Mayor Bill de Blasio in August 2016, the Anchor Parks initiative committed a total of $150 million in City funding for major improvements at five large parks: Astoria Park in Queens, Highbridge Park in Manhattan, Betsy Head Park in Brooklyn, St. Mary’s Park in the Bronx, and Freshkills Park on Staten Island. More than 750,000 New Yorkers live within walking distance of the five Anchor Parks. Each was selected based on historical underinvestment, high surrounding population and potential for park development.

“St. Mary’s has long been a staple in its community, and we are excited to begin this long overdue renovation,” said Commissioner Silver. “With newly reconstructed ballfields, an expanded dog run, and landscape upgrades, this park will be a place for fun and recreation; and that is how anchor parks help communities thrive.”

"St. Mary's Park is a key destination for Bronx families. The Mayor's $30 million investment will ensure this anchor park remains an integral piece of The South Bronx community for generations to come,” said Council Member Ayala. “I thank Mayor de Blasio, Commissioner Silver, and Borough Commissioner Rodriguez-Rosa for all they've contributed to make this investment possible."

The St. Mary’s Park project is being executed in two phases, outlined below:

Phase I: The first phase of construction will boast more than $10 million in improvements including: two reconstructed ballfields; sports event seating; an expanded dog run with a water fountain; sports lighting; an ADA accessible seating area; new fencing; and landscape upgrades with new planting beds. Construction is expected to be completed by next spring.

Phase II: Currently in procurement, this project will reconstruct the amphitheater plaza, pathways, passive central area, and the west comfort station. Construction is expected to begin later this year.

Details for the other four Anchor Parks projects are as follows:

Astoria Park, Queens
Phase I: This project includes a synthetic turf soccer field and track, site amenities and much needed erosion control.

Phase II: This project includes the reconstruction of Charybdis Playground, spray shower, and comfort station.

Highbridge Park, Manhattan
Phase I: This project will reinstate access to a 10-block stretch of the park, improve connectivity and pathways, restore the historic Grand Staircase and construct an ADA-compliant plaza at W. 184th Street and Laurel Hill Terrace. The project will also improve safety and security with new park lighting, and construct a welcome garden at the Dyckman Street and Harlem River Drive entrance to the park.

Phase II: This project will reconstruct Adventure Playground, creating a play-based active recreation playground featuring a spray shower, game tables, garden area and new comfort station. The project will also include adult fitness equipment at Sunken Playground.

Betsy Head Park, Brooklyn
Phase I: This project will completely re-envision and reconstruct the multi-purpose play area, basketball courts, active fitness area, and new skate park.

Phase II: This project will reconstruct the southern portion of the park, including a large field, sports courts, seating areas, and reconstruction of the comfort station.

Freshkills Park, Staten Island
This project will create multiple athletic fields, paths and trails, parking and a comfort station that will continue the development of South Park and the greater Freshkills Parkland.

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