Press Releases

Thursday, August 15, 2019
No. 71


NYC Parks/Malcolm Pinckney

NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP, today joined New York City Council Member Peter Koo, Department of Environmental Protection Director of Community Affairs Karen Ellis, Community Board 7 District Manager Marilyn McAndrews, and local community members to officially cut the ribbon on the total reconstruction of Bowne Playground under the Community Parks Initiative (CPI). The $5.8 million project was funded by Mayor Bill de Blasio. Construction was completed in April.

“Bowne Playground is the site where the Community Parks Initiative was announced, and it is gratifying to see it transformed into the recreational space that Flushing deserves,” said Commissioner Silver. “Thanks to Mayor de Blasio’s investment, Bowne Playground offers new recreational and environmental amenities for the neighborhood and will serve as a vital green space for generations to come.”

“Every summer, Bowne Playground is packed with people who have to make the most out of the worn down equipment and crumbling infrastructure. Today our entire community is ecstatic to see downtown Flushing’s flagship recreational space finally get a much needed upgrade,” said Council Member Peter Koo. “From the basketball courts to the play equipment, everything here is top notch and designed to fit the wants and needs of our community for generations to come. This is the 10th playground to get a full renovation in my Council District during my term, and I’m grateful to the Parks Department and Mayor’s Office their shared commitment to improving our parks, playgrounds and public spaces.”

“Bowne Playground represents another playground beautifully revitalized thanks to the strategic partnership between DEP and NYC Parks. This newly revamped community space also utilizes innovative green infrastructure that will manage stormwater to reduce flooding and improve the health of nearby waterways, including Flushing Creek” said DEP Commissioner Vincent Sapienza. “I want to commend Commissioner Silver and his team for their commitment to making New York City a greener, more resilient place to call home.”

The newly renovated Bowne Playground features new play equipment, swings, a spray shower, basketball and handball courts, an open asphalt play area, seating and decorative landscaping. Additionally, the Department of Environmental Protection has partnered with NYC Parks to provide support for green infrastructure improvements throughout the playground to manage stormwater 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.

This playground honors Walter Bowne (1770-1846), a state senator and New York City mayor. As mayor, Bowne is remembered for his strict policies aimed at preventing cholera epidemics in the city. His summer residence once stood on this property until March 1925, when a fire destroyed the home. NYC Parks and the Department of Education jointly operate Bowne Playground. The playground, located on Union Street between Sanford and Barclay Avenues, opened in November 1950 to supplement the recreational facilities of the local community and adjacent school. P.S. 20 is named for John Bowne, the first representative of the Bowne name in the Flushing area.

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