FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, February 25, 2020
WORK UNDERWAY ON $3.2 MILLION RECONSTRUCTION OF HART PLAYGROUND IN WOODSIDE, QUEENS
NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP, today joined Acting Queens Borough President Sharon Lee and Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer to mark the start of a $3.2 million capital reconstruction of Hart Playground in Woodside, Queens.
"We’re proud to make Hart Playground into a better space for the Woodside community to play, sweat, or just relax," said Commissioner Silver. "Thanks to support from the Borough President and City Council, we're adding new play equipment, sports courts, and a brand new entrance that will make this park easier for everyone to access. Work is already underway and we look forward to returning this space to the community early next year."
“The reconstruction of Hart Playground will deliver a first-class park and playground for the growing families of Woodside to enjoy by this time next year, thanks to substantial public investments issued years ago by former Borough President Melinda Katz and Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer,” said Queens Borough President Sharon Lee.
"Woodside deserves to have beautiful parks," said Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer. "I have fought for parks in every corner of my Council District. The renovations here will turn Hart playground into a gem for our entire community. I'm thrilled to have allocated nearly $2 million to make this a reality."
This playground improvement project was designed with input from the local community gathered at public scoping meetings. Improvements will include a new, fully reconstructed playground with painted games to enliven the area, and a new colored concrete spray shower. In the sports area, the existing full basketball court will be reconstructed and a new half-court basketball and badminton/volleyball court will be introduced at the site to improve recreational opportunities for teens and adults.
Additionally, this project will improve the playground’s interface with the surrounding neighborhood by removing the existing single gate entrance on Broadway and providing a new entrance on 65th street featuring stairs and an ADA accessible ramp. This will optimize site access and improve circulation.
Construction began in January 2020 and the playground is expected to reopen in January 2021. The project was funded with $1.82 million from the City Council and $1.38 million from the Borough President.
Hart Playground was acquired by NYC Parks in 1954 as part of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway construction. It was opened to the public by Commissioner Robert Moses on October 11, 1956. The park is named for General Joseph T. Hart, a resident of Elmhurst who led a distinguished career in military and civilian life.