FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, October 08, 2019
BAISLEY POND PARK SPORTS COURTS GET $2 MILLION MAKEOVER
NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP, today joined Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, Council Member Adrienne Adams, and administration and students from PS 45 to cut the ribbon on a $2 million capital project to reconstruct sports facilities in Baisley Pond Park in Southeast Queens.
“Playing sports can help kids learn teamwork, stay healthy, and make lifelong friendships – and every community deserves access to high quality courts and fields,” said Commissioner Silver. “Thanks to support from Borough President Katz and Council Member Adams, the basketball, handball, and tennis courts in Baisley Pond Park have been refreshed with new surfacing, lights and furnishings, as well as new seating and tables for spectators.”
“Baisley Pond Park is an important community asset that will now have first-class recreational spaces where people can be physically active,” said Queens Borough President Melinda Katz. “Those who advocated for these upgrades, including Community Board 12, the 149th Street Civic Association and PS45Q, should be commended for their advocacy efforts.”
“Baisley Pond Park is one of the jewels of our borough’s park system,” said Council Member Adrienne Adams. “The transformation of the handball, basketball and tennis courts has created a beautiful play space for the families of Queens. It is important to have recreational spaces that meet the needs of our city. I am proud to help fund this much-needed improvement and look forward to residents enjoying a first-rate park experience.”
Through this project, Baisley Pond Park’s handball, basketball, and tennis courts have been completely reconstructed. The courts now feature new surfacing, sports lighting and drinking fountains for athletes, as well as bleachers, benches, and tables for spectators. Drainage infrastructure was also improved in the course of the project. The sports courts project was funded with allocations from Borough President Katz ($1.5 million) and Council Member Adams ($500,000). Construction began in January 2019 and was completed on time in July 2019.
Work is also underway on a separate project in Baisley Pond Park to reconstruct the track, convert the natural turf field to synthetic turf, and construct an adult fitness area. NYC Parks is currently in the design phase of this track and field project.
Baisley Pond was created in the 18th century when local farmers dammed three streams in order to power their grain mill. The 30-acre pond and the park are named for David Baisley, a local farmer who owned this land in the early 19th century and operated the mill that was located on the pond. Although the park is used mostly for recreational sports, it remains a vital natural habitat for many species of plant and animal life. Besides its fabled gigantic lily pads, the pond contains red-eared sliders, snapping turtles, musk turtles, and bullfrogs. Eight different varieties of dragonflies and a spectacular array of avian life thrives here as well. In the winter, Canadian geese, mallards, shovelers, coots, grebes, and gulls make their homes here. In the summer, blackbirds, cormorants, herons, egrets, doves, mockingbirds, robins, starlings, warblers, cardinals, and sparrows forage and breed in the area.