FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, November 07, 2019
NYC PARKS BREAKS GROUND ON PHASE TWO OF THE $19.6 MILLION ANCHOR PARKS PROJECT AT ST. MARY’S PARK
NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP, today joined Community Board 1 District Manager Cedric Loftin, third-graders from the Heketi Community Charter School, and members of the community to break ground on phase two of the Anchor Parks project at St. Mary’s Park in the Bronx.
Launched by Mayor Bill de Blasio in August 2016, the Anchor Parks initiative committed a total of $150 million in City funding for major improvements at five large parks: Astoria Park in Queens, Highbridge Park in Manhattan, Betsy Head Park in Brooklyn, St. Mary’s Park in the Bronx, and Freshkills Park on Staten Island. More than 750,000 New Yorkers live within walking distance of the five Anchor Parks. Each was selected based on historical underinvestment, high surrounding population and potential for park development.
“With phase one already underway, we are very excited to break ground on phase two of the Anchor Parks project at St. Mary’s Park, bringing even more upgrades to this much loved neighborhood park,” said Commissioner Silver. “Thanks to over $19 million from Mayor de Blasio for the second phase of the project, the renovated St. Mary’s Park will truly have something for everyone- from a performance area and dog run, to wheelchair accessible paths and turf fields, and more.”
The St. Mary’s Park project is being executed in two phases, outlined below:
Phase I: The first phase of construction will boast more than $10 million in improvements including: two reconstructed ballfields; sports event seating; an expanded dog run with a water fountain; sports lighting; an ADA accessible seating area; new fencing; and landscape upgrades with new planting beds. Construction is expected to be completed by next spring.
Phase II: Phase two of the $19.6 million Anchor Parks project at St. Mary’s Park will reconfigure the performance area with amphitheater seating; add new native plants to increase biodiversity in the park; install new park security lighting; update the drainage system throughout the park; renovate the 149th street plaza with new seating and spray shower; and reconfigure paths and other paved areas with new stairs and stone walls to accommodate wheelchair accessible paths.
Details for the other four Anchor Parks projects are as follows:
Astoria Park, Queens
Phase I: This project includes a synthetic turf soccer field and track, site amenities and much needed erosion control.
Phase II: This project includes the reconstruction of Charybdis Playground, spray shower, and comfort station.
Highbridge Park, Manhattan
Phase I: This project will reinstate access to a 10-block stretch of the park, improve connectivity and pathways, restore the historic Grand Staircase and construct an ADA-compliant plaza at W. 184th Street and Laurel Hill Terrace. The project will also improve safety and security with new park lighting, and construct a welcome garden at the Dyckman Street and Harlem River Drive entrance to the park.
Phase II: This project will reconstruct Adventure Playground, creating a play-based active recreation playground featuring a spray shower, game tables, garden area and new comfort station. The project will also include adult fitness equipment at Sunken Playground.
Betsy Head Park, Brooklyn
Phase I: This project will completely re-envision and reconstruct the multi-purpose play area, basketball courts, active fitness area, and new skate park.
Phase II: This project will reconstruct the southern portion of the park, including a large field, sports courts, seating areas, and reconstruction of the comfort station.
Freshkills Park, Staten Island
This project will create multiple athletic fields, paths and trails, parking and a comfort station that will continue the development of South Park and the greater Freshkills Parkland.
+600 COMPLETED CAPITAL PROJECTS
Parks announced recently the agency completed 648 completed capital projects since Commissioner Silver joined the agency in 2014: the administration has taken on more projects and has completed them faster—nearly 90% completed on budget and 85% on time. Through this, the agency has provided everyday New Yorkers access to 205 improved playgrounds and sports courts; 102 reconstructed paths & plazas; 39 new comfort stations; 36 athletic fields; and the agency has addressed infrastructure at 24 of its piers, waterfronts and retaining walls (and much more). Parks’ 10-year capital budget is $5.2 billion—the completed projects over the past five years represents a $1.3 billion investment.
NYC Parks’ capital division of nearly 500 staff, including more than 100 landscape architects, manages its capital projects from start to finish; designing approximately 70% of its landscape architecture projects in-house—of the 648 projects completed, 410 were landscape projects. Currently, the agency is managing 618 active capital projects: 149 are in construction; 246 are in procurement and 178 are in design.