FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, May 10, 2019
BLACK ROCK PLAYGROUND IS THE NEWEST PARK TO BE TRANSFORMED UNDER THE COMMUNITY PARKS INITIATIVE
NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP, today joined City Council Member Ruben Diaz Sr., Community Board 9 District Manager William Rivera, students and administrators from P.S. 119 and local community members to officially cut the ribbon on a total reconstruction of Black Rock Playground under the Community Parks Initiative (CPI). The $1.9 million project was funded by Mayor Bill de Blasio.
“The transformation of Black Rock playground is incredible. I recall the way it looked when we first broke ground, and I am thrilled to see how this space has been reconstructed and renewed for parkgoers of every generation to enjoy,” said Commissioner Silver. “As one of 17 Bronx CPI sites, this playground finally received some long overdue attention and restoration. The students from P.S. 119 who shared their input for this park and the community members who advocated for this improvement should be applauded for changing their neighborhood for the better.”
The new and improved Black Rock Playground features play equipment, swings, drinking fountains, water play and seating areas. The central water play area links the play areas for older kids and younger children. The site also boasts new plantings and improved drainage and water supply systems.
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.
Blackrock Playground is located west of P.S. 119 on a block bounded by Blackrock, Virginia, Watson, and Pugsley Avenues. The name Blackrock provides a glimpse into the history and geology of the east Bronx. In 1643, Thomas Cornell settled on what became known as Clason Point. Although Native Americans drove Cornell away, his grandson William Willett was granted property here in 1667. In the 1850s a portion of the former Willett property was held by the Ludlow family, whose Black Rock Farm was named for a large boulder found in a salt marsh near the junction of Ludlow’s Creek and the Bronx River.