FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, October 09, 2020
NYC PARKS: NINE RIBBONS OFFICIALLY CUT ON $41.4 MILLION IN IMPROVEMENTS TO BRONX PARKS
NYC Parks cuts nine ribbons over two days on 17 acres of reconstructed parkland in the Bronx
Over the course of two days, on Wednesday and Thursday, NYC Parks cut nine ribbons on projects in the Bronx totaling $41.4 million in renovations. The projects ranged from new playgrounds and neighborhood improvements to major capital upgrades, and included transformations through the Community Parks Initiative, Parks Without Borders and Anchor Parks.
“Over the course of two days we have completed a marathon of ribbon cuttings, and I am so proud to have celebrated 17 acres of new and improved parkland in the Bronx,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP. “The $41.4 million worth of upgrades are nothing short of transformational for the communities these parks and playgrounds serve. From an extended greenway, to brand new and upgraded playgrounds, to a new skate park facility, there is truly something for everyone in our greenspaces in the Bronx – now more than ever before.”
“This park is near and dear to me having spent my childhood running around and being a kid on these grounds, and having it named after a civil rights icon like Evelina Antonetty who did so much for our borough is truly special,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “Throughout my tenure, I have always advocated for providing quality park spaces and facilities. What starts off as 'kids being kids;' running around and having fun in our park spaces rather than staying home and playing video games becomes the building blocks to developing a healthier lifestyle as our kids become adults. As borough president, I have allocated $73,296,000 of funding towards 87 parks projects to improve and renovate our Bronx parks, including $500,000 toward the newly renovated Evelina Antonetty Playground. I want to thank the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, the Community Parks Initiative, Anchor Parks, and Parks Without Borders for all of their efforts in renovating Garrison Playground.”
“The renovation of the Patterson Playground has been a labor of love for me. I have been lucky enough to have been a part of this project since its inception, which makes this ribbon cutting so much more rewarding,” said Council Member Diana Ayala. “I am proud to have allocated $2.33 million in funding towards the renovation of this playground and hope that it will bring joy and excitement to both children and adults alike. Community residents will now enjoy a new community garden, enhanced play units, and reconstructed basketball & handball courts in addition to other park amenities.”
"The reopening of Evelina Antonetty Playground is a welcome sight for Bronxites who have been using our parks' system in record numbers since the onset of social distancing protocols," stated Council Member Rafael Salamanca. "Renovated with the mindset of enhancing the overall park-going experience, the new park features improved seating areas and playground spaces, as well as a centralized lawn that encourages physical fitness. Most importantly, the renaming of the park allows the community to celebrate one of its most cherished figures, Evelina Antonetty, a staunch advocate for the underserved and a more just education system. I am proud to have allocated $1.5 million in funding to make this renovation a reality for the South Bronx.”
“The investments and improvements made to West Farms Park will ensure that the park is safe and accessible to all Bronx residents, and will improve quality-of-life in the neighborhood. My office is committed to beautifying, protecting, up-keeping, and investing in parks throughout the district so that all residents can have access to green spaces,” stated Council Member Ritchie Torres.
NINE BRONX PROJECTS - $41.4 MILLION TOTAL
St. Mary’s Park - Anchor Parks Phase I
The $9.2 million project reconstructed two ballfields and expanded the dog run, adding sports event seating; a water fountain; sports lighting; an ADA accessible seating area; new fencing; and landscape upgrades with new planting beds. This is the first phase of a $30 million reconstruction of St. Mary’s Park, one of five projects funded by Mayor Bill de Blasio through the Anchor Parks initiative.
Playground 174 - Community Parks Initiative
This $4.9 million renovation of Playground 174 is the 47th project completed through the Community Parks Initiative (CPI), the City’s first-ever parks equity initiative, funded by Mayor de Blasio. The project reconstructed the play and adult fitness equipment, adding new swings, a basketball court, benches, sitting areas, drinking fountains, fences, park security lighting, plantings, and drainage.
Van Cortlandt Park - Parks Without Borders
The $5.9 million project reconstructed access pathways with new stairs to and from the entrance, and created a new inviting plaza with spray shower features and game tables. This is the third completed Parks Without Borders (PWB) project, nominated by the community. The eight selected showcase projects share $40 million in funding from Mayor de Blasio as part of OneNYC.
Van Cortlandt Park - Playground Construction
The $3 million project created a brand new playground in the northwest section of Van Cortlandt Park between Mosholu Ave. and Broadway. The new playground features four major zones; a main play area, play mounds with a net climber, a water play zone, and a swing area. The playground also includes two 5’ high slides; a new play area with safety surfacing; an open lawn area; and eco-friendly features including sustainable materials and LED lights. The project was funded with $1.26 million from Mayor Bill de Blasio, $1.26 million from City Council Member Andrew Cohen, and $500,000 provided through the Dormitory Authority State of New York (DASNY) program.
Van Cortlandt Park - Skate Park Construction
The $1.18 million project constructed a brand new skate park at Van Cortlandt Park. The new skatepark features a wedge and gap, a full mound, a pyramid corner, a quarter pipe and bank, and a euro gap with stairs and handrail. The skatepark also features all new fencing and gates. The project was funded with a $178,000 allocation from Mayor Bill de Blasio and $1 million from former Council Member Gabriel Oliver Koeppell.
Patterson Playground Reconstruction
The $4.53 million project at Patterson Playground reconstructed the basketball courts, playground, and handball courts. The reconstructed playground now features play units and swings for children of all ages, and a decorative concrete pavement area with spray showers. A new community garden has also been built, featuring raised beds, trees, shrubs, and groundcovers. New paths, chain link fences, concrete curbs, asphalt, concrete pavements, and safety surfacing has been included in the play area. The project was funded by a $2.2 million allocation from Mayor Bill de Blasio, and $2.33 million from New York City Council Member Diana Ayala.
West Farms Park Construction
The $2.75 million project at West Farms Park has constructed a bikeway and pedestrian path which is now part of a link to existing and future Greenways to the north and south. The project also reconstructed the existing park facilities and redesigned the demapped street bed into parkland. A new park entrance and seating area has also been created at the 179th Street cul-de-sac.The project was funded by a $2.075 million allocation from Mayor Bill de Blasio, $436,000 from a United States Federal Grant, $200,000 from a New York State Multimodal grant, and a $45,000 allocation from Council Member Ritchie Torres.
Van Cortlandt Park - Putnam Greenway
The $4.25 million Putnam Greenway project has created an aesthetically pleasing and accessible path that connects Van Cortlandt Park with the South County Trail System. In addition to protecting and enhancing the native ecology, the project has increased accessibility for all members of the community; reduced ponding, rutting, and erosion on the trail by filtering water into the bioswales created during construction; and has added over 400 native trees and saplings during the course of construction while removing invasive plants. This project is funded by a $2.67 million allocation from Mayor Bill de Blasio, $1.3 million from The Federal Highway Administration, and $250 thousand from Council Member Andrew Cohen.
Evelina Antonetty Playground (Formerly Garrison Playground) - Community Parks Initiative
The $5.7 million project at Evelina Antonetty Playground (formerly Garrison Playground) has completely renovated the playground, improving accessibility and visibility into the park. The newly renovated playground now includes a central synthetic turf lawn; permeable pavers; a table tennis and seating area; a spray shower and a water feature with ground jets; and new playground equipment for children ages 2-5 and 5-12. The walk between Grand Concourse and Walton Ave. has also been reconstructed to meet ADA accessibility standards. The $5.7 million Community Parks Initiative project was funded by a $3.7 million allocation from Mayor Bill de Blasio, $1.5 million from Council Member Rafael Salamanca Jr., and $500K from Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
Parks also celebrated the renaming of Garrison Playground to Evelina Antonetty Playground with strong support from the community and local elected officials. Evelina Antonetty was a neighborhood activist and community organizer who was the driving force behind some of the many of the positive changes that continue to reshape the South Bronx.