Press Releases

Wednesday, May 12, 2021
No. 41


NYC Parks/Daniel Avila

Almeda Playground is one of more than 800 capital projects completed during Silver tenure—building a more equitable park system for all New Yorkers

NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP yesterday joined Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, City Council Member Selvena Brooks-Powers, Community Board 14 Chair Dolores Orr, P.S. 42 Principal Patricia Finn, and community members to cut the ribbon on the total reconstruction of Almeda Playground through the Community Parks Initiative (CPI) — the City’s first-ever parks equity initiative. The $8.1 million project, funded by Mayor Bill de Blasio, is one of more than 800 completed under Commissioner Silver’s leadership, advancing the City’s mission to build a more equitable 21st century park system.

“Since its launch, the Community Parks Initiative has taken transformative steps towards creating a more accessible parks system for all New Yorkers,” said Commissioner Silver. “As Commissioner I’ve prioritized working to ensure that all New Yorkers have access to quality parks, and it’s outstanding to see these underused spaces transformed into community assets. Thanks to Mayor de Blasio, the children and families of Arverne now have access to high-quality open space where they can safely play, gather, and enjoy the outdoors.”

“Almeda Playground is a treasured community resource in Arverne, so I’m very pleased that this extensive and much-needed reconstruction of the playground has been completed,” said Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, Jr. “All children deserve access to first-class play space, and the Community Parks Initiative has succeeded in creating such a space here at Almeda Playground and at so many other parks throughout the Borough and City. I thank Mayor de Blasio and NYC Parks, led by Commissioner Silver, for putting high-quality parks within reach of everyone by investing in small neighborhood parks like Almeda Playground.”

"The coronavirus pandemic has underscored the need for access to fresh air and recreational resources," said Council Member Brooks-Powers. "As a mom myself, I understand firsthand how important it is for us to have a safe space for our children to exert energy, make new friends -- all within the immediate community. The renovation of the Almeda Playground will offer families a park system for all."

As part of the Community Parks Initiative, Almeda Playground has been completely renovated with upgraded features and amenities. This playground now features a more inclusive play area, an outdoor classroom, spray showers, an adult fitness area, basketball and handball courts, shaded seating areas, and more. As requested by the community, the project also enhanced the playground’s greenery with a robust planting palette.

The Community Parks Initiative (CPI), launched by Mayor de Blasio in October 2014, is NYC Parks’ first major equity initiative. CPI is a multi-faceted investment in the smaller public parks that are located in New York City’s densely populated and growing neighborhoods where there are higher-than-average concentrations of poverty.

Almeda Playground, located on the Rockaway peninsula, is named for nearby Almeda Avenue. The area was spotted by Henry Hudson in 1609 and served as home to a small tribe of Canarsie Indians. The playground opened in 1965 and was originally named P.S. 42 Playground before being renamed by Parks in 1985. Almeda Playground serves as an excellent recreational space for the students of P.S. 42 and the surrounding neighborhoods.

Under the leadership of Commissioner Silver, since 2014 NYC Parks has completed more than 800 capital projects across the five boroughs, advancing the City’s mission to build a more equitable park system for present and future generations. Under this administration, the agency has brought our park system into the 21st century, with guidelines focused on resiliency and access and leading with a data-driven approach to increasing park equity. Parks has also improved its capital process in order to take on more projects and complete them faster. Through these strategies, the agency has reimagined how we invest in parks across the city, including those in communities with the greatest need for open-space improvements that had not seen investment in decades. Parks’ 10-year capital budget is $5.2 billion—the completed projects over the past seven years represents a $1.96 billion investment.

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