FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, February 27, 2019
NYC PARKS CUTS RIBBON ON $3.7 MILLION TRANSFORMATION OF LITTLE CLAREMONT PLAYGROUND
NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP, today joined City Council Member Vanessa Gibson, NYC Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Bronx Borough Community Liaison Eleftheria Ardizzone, students and staff from P.S. 42 and community members in the South Bronx to cut the ribbon on the reconstruction of Little Claremont Playground, a Community Parks Initiative (CPI) site. The new and improved playground was funded with $3.7 million from Mayor Bill de Blasio and DEP.
“The transformation of Little Claremont Playground is an incredibly important improvement for this community, and especially the students and staff at P.S. 42 who use this space so frequently,” said Commissioner Silver. “The enhancements to the play area, the addition of the multipurpose field, and most importantly, the outdoor classroom, make this playground the perfect destination for play, discovery, physical activity and learning.”
“DEP is proud to be a partner in NYC Parks’ Community Parks Initiative which is transforming neighborhood parks across the city,” said DEP Commissioner Vincent Sapienza. “The newly installed rain gardens, permeable pavement and synthetic turf field at this park will help to reduce stormwater runoff by 1.5 million gallons annually, improve the health of the Bronx Kill and Harlem River, and beautify the neighborhood.”
“I am excited to see the official ribbon cutting of Little Claremont Playground, thanks to the Administration’s Community Parks Initiative. Approximately $3.7M, was invested to provide new amenities such as children’s play equipment, a water play area, a multipurpose synthetic turf field, and an outdoor classroom space for P.S. 42 students,” said Council Member Gibson. “This new open space will promote recreation, health and wellness to the Claremont community and I am thankful for this commitment to enhance open spaces for our children, seniors and families, and I look forward to more investments in our parks across the community. Congratulations to everyone involved in this investment in Little Claremont Playground.”
New amenities in the park include play equipment for children aged 5-12 years old, a water play area with in-ground features and spray posts, a multipurpose synthetic turf field, an outdoor classroom with a stage, and landscape enhancements and improvements to the community garden. Additionally, DEP has partnered with NYC Parks to provide green infrastructure that will capture storm water runoff.
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.
The neighborhood of Claremont derives its name from a mansion that once stood in what is now Little Claremont Playground. The park was originally part of the old Morris family estate, established in 1679. It is bounded by Claremont Parkway between Park and Washington Avenues, and has been closely tied to the neighboring school, P.S. 42, since 1992. The school, which has been instrumental in the creation of this green space, was established in 1906. This property became a GreenThumb Garden in May 1994. In 1998, Mayor Giuliani’s office approved the permanent jurisdiction and management of this garden by Parks. The Department of Citywide Administrative Services then assigned the property to Parks on July 12, 1999.