FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, May 10, 2019
NYC PARKS CUTS RIBBON ON $1.8 MILLION TRANSFORMATION OF WALTON PLAYGROUND IN THE BRONX
NYC Parks Bronx Borough Commissioner Iris Rodriguez-Rosa yesterday joined Council Member Fernando Cabrera, New York State Assembly Member Victor Pichardo, members of Community Board 5, students and staff from P.S. 279 and community members to cut the ribbon on the reconstruction of Walton Playground, a Community Parks Initiative (CPI) site. The new and improved playground was funded with $1.4 million from Mayor Bill de Blasio and $400,000 from Council Member Cabrera.
“Restoring neighborhood parks is mission-critical as we work to ensure communities have spaces that can serve as a hub for active and passive recreation. This summer when kids are splashing and laughing as they play in the sprinklers, we’ll be able to bask in the joy of knowing we’re improving our communities one park at a time,” said Commissioner Rodriguez-Rosa. “The newly transformed Walton Playground will serve the students, families and community members for decades to come.”
“Rebuilding our Playgrounds and recreation facilities has been one of my highest priorities since joining the NYC Council in 2010. One year ago I joined NYC Playgrounds Commissioner Silver and Bronx Borough Playgrounds Commissioner Rodriguez-Rosa and students of PS/MS 279, to break ground for a NEW Walton Playground. Today, I’m happy to be back with everyone to cut the ribbon on this beautiful new Playground completed on time,” said Council Member Cabrera. “Walton Playground is now a beautiful inclusive green space for gathering, recreation and exercise for everyone to enjoy- kids, seniors, young adults, families- regardless of physical abilities, and with ADA accessible entrances. The total make-over of this Playground is because of the people in this community who told us what you need and what you want in a Playground- water play areas, play equipment, a basketball half-court, new trees and greenery, and more. I’m proud to support this project and the Community Parks Initiative.”
This park had not seen a major investment in decades. The reconstruction transformed the children’s play areas adding new equipment, water play features, a half-court basketball court and seating areas.
In addition to these amenities, the new park design incorporates sustainable features including permeable surfacing; improved drainage systems that will capture stormwater and decrease runoff; new tree plantings to increase shade and improve air quality; water play features that are controller-operated to minimize water waste; and new lighting that was installed with energy efficient lamps.
One of 17 CPI projects in the Bronx, the renovation of Walton Playground is a step towards creating a more fair parks system in the borough. 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 renovating 67 parks citywide that have not undergone significant improvements in decades.