FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, June 18, 2019
NYC PARKS BREAKS GROUND ON NEWEST PARKS WITHOUT BORDERS PROJECT SITE—VAN CORTLANDT PARK
NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP, today joined Community Board 8 District Manager Ciara Gannon, President of Manhattan College and member of the Van Cortlandt Park Alliance Brennan O’ Donnell and local community members to break ground on new improvements to Van Cortlandt Park through the Parks Without Borders (PWB) initiative. Funding to revamp the park was provided by a $5.9 million allocation from Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Parks Without Borders is a design concept that improves the areas where parks meet their neighborhoods—park entrances, edges, and spaces adjacent to parks. By extending parks into communities, opening sight lines, adjusting gates, and adding furnishings outside of our parks’ traditional borders, PWB will improve New Yorkers’ access to quality parks.
“Van Cortlandt Park is a unique green space rich with history, culture and lush greenery. A space as magnificent as this should be inviting and seamlessly engrained into the community,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Silver. “Through Parks Without Borders we are set to accomplish this goal, and transform the points where this park meets the neighborhood into welcoming passageways for generations of parkgoers to pass through.”
Nominated for PWB by the community, the $5.9 million Van Cortlandt Park project will reconstruct the entrance of the park on Broadway and a portion of the park. Improvements will include reconstructed access pathways, new stairs to and from the entrance of the park, a new inviting plaza with spray shower features, game tables, and LED lighting. Other amenities include new benches and seating areas, drinking fountains and new plantings.
The project is anticipated to be completed in summer 2020.
Parks Without Borders was announced in November 2015 with a call for community involvement. NYC Parks asked New Yorkers to nominate the sites that would benefit the most from a PWB improvement project. Utilizing an online survey and 37 conferences with citizens, Parks received more than 6,000 nominations for 691 parks—approximately 30 percent of our parks. The eight selected showcase projects, sharing $40 million in funding from Mayor de Blasio, were revealed in May 2016; and an additional $10 million has been applied to another 40 capital projects in progress.
The other PWB showcase projects are: Fort Greene Park and Prospect Park (Brooklyn); Hugh Grant Circle / Virginia Park and Playground (Bronx); Jackie Robinson Park and Seward Park (Manhattan); Faber Park (Staten Island); and Flushing Meadows Corona Park (Queens).
Van Cortlandt Park is the third largest park in New York City. It boasts more than a thousand acres atop the ridges and valleys of the northwest Bronx. The park also features playing fields and playgrounds scattered about the park's edges, surrounding a richly forested heartland fed by Tibbets Brook. The park is home to the country's first public golf course, the oldest house in the Bronx, and the borough's largest freshwater lake.