FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, March 19, 2019
NYC PARKS BREAKS GROUND ON $30 MILLION ANCHOR PARKS PROJECT AT BETSY HEAD PARK IN BROWNSVILLE
Fourth of five Anchor Parks projects citywide to begin construction
NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP, today joined Council Member Alicka Ampry-Samuel, Community Board 16, local students and neighbors to break ground a $30 million reconstruction of Betsy Head Park in Brooklyn, one of five projects funded through the Anchor Parks initiative. This is the fourth Anchor Parks project to begin construction, and will be completed in two phases, starting with the park’s northern parcel.
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.
“Betsy Head Park has been serving the Brownsville community for over a century, and this major Anchor Parks renovation will kick off a fresh start for its next 100 years,” said Commissioner Silver. “With $30 million in funding to revamp this crucial neighborhood park, we can make Betsy Head the true Brooklyn destination it is meant to be.”
The Betsy Head Park project is being executed in two phases totaling $30 million in funding from Mayor Bill de Blasio. Phases are outlined below:
Phase I: This project will completely re-envision and reconstruct the multi-purpose play area, basketball courts, active fitness area, and new skate park. This $7 million project is anticipated to be completed in spring 2020.
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. This $23 million phase will move into construction later this year.
Additionally at Betsy Head, Mayor de Blasio and City Council Member Alicka Ampry-Samuel funded $4 million for a brand new comfort station in the Imagination Playground section of the park. 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.
St. Mary’s Park, Bronx
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.
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.