Press Releases

Friday, November 05, 2021
No. 109


NYC Parks/Malcolm Pinckney

This is the first significant investment this park has received in more than 20 years

NYC Parks Commissioner Gabrielle Fialkoff today joined New York State Senator Diane J. Savino, New York State Assembly Member Michael Tannousis, Richmond County District Attorney Michael E. McMahon, Friends of White Playground and Park, and community members to break ground on improvements to the playground at John E. White Park in Rosebank. The $1 million reconstruction project funded by Senator Savino is the first significant investment this park has seen in over two decades.

“For more than 20 years, John E. White Park has not seen a significant investment to revitalize and renew this neighborhood park; that ends today,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Gabrielle Fialkoff. “Thanks to $1 million in funding from State Senator Diane Savino we are bringing equity and access to this Rosebank gem. With new playground equipment, a spray shower to help kids keep cool in the summer, new plantings, and much more we will soon be ready to serve the people of this community for generations to come.”

“Today is a great day for the legacy of John E.White, a young man from this neighborhood who gave his life during WWI fighting for freedom overseas. This NYC Playground has been a source of joy for countless generations of small children and today's groundbreaking means that tradition will continue,” said New York State Senator Diane J. Savino. “I am so proud to allocate the necessary funding to update and modernize this park and can not wait to hear the sounds of children laughing with delight again. The Friends of White Playground and the NYC Parks Department along with our local electeds all share in this great moment.”

“Staten Island prides itself in being a close-knit community and being the borough of parks,” said New York State Assembly Member Michael Tannousis. “This beautiful park will be enjoyed by residents and their families for years to come. Thank you to Senator Savino for allocating the funding. But we should also note that this park is named after John E. White, a Staten Islander who was a World War I soldier that made the ultimate sacrifice so that we can be free. It is important that those who use the park remember the sacrifice made by this hometown hero.”

Keeping Staten Island safe is about more than law enforcement working to hold accountable those who break the law. It is about creating an environment that gives our neighbors pride to call their neighborhood home, and the upcoming renovations at White Park promise to turn this community asset into the pride of Rosebank. I deeply appreciate and thank my friend Senator Savino and the Parks Department for their commitment to this project and look forward to seeing it completed in the near future,” said Richmond County District Attorney Michael E. McMahon. “Lastly, it must be noted the naming of this park for John E. White, an Army veteran killed as part of the American Expeditionary Force in World War I, rightly underscores our promise grounded in our duty to never forget our heroes even 100 years later. Thank you, and God bless the memory of John E. White and all of our veterans.”

The project will reconstruct the existing playground in the park and will feature new play equipment, spray shower, fencing, pavements, benches and new plantings. In addition, the existing sidewalk along Lyman Avenue will be partially reconstructed. Construction completion is anticipated for Fall 2022.

This playground honors Staten Island World War I veteran John Edward White (1893-1918). Born in Fort Wadsworth, Staten Island, White served as a trainman for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad in St. George, Staten Island. Never marrying, White enlisted in the United States Army to fight in World War I (1914-1918) and became a member of the Allied Expeditionary Force. He gave his life assisting in the defeat of Germany.


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