East River Esplanade
The Daily Plant : Friday, January 3, 2003
PARKS SKATES AWAY WITH OVER $2 MILLION IN STATE GRANTS
New York City parks will be looking better than ever thanks to seven grants, totaling over $2 million, from the State of New York. The grants have been issued under the Clean Water/Clean Air Bond Act and the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) and will help parks in the Bronx, Manhattan, Staten Island and Queens.
"These grants will help rebuild parks, create new youth recreation facilities and programs, and construct new waterfront parks and greenways," said Commissioner Benepe. "We are grateful to Governor Pataki and Commissioner Bernadette Castro of the State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation for their leadership in awarding these grants."
From the creation of a brand new park in the Bronx called Barretto Pont to the building of Staten Island's first ever skate park, these funds will help keep many of Parks' exciting projects on track. Below is a brief description of how the funds will be used throughout the city.
BARRETTO POINT PARK
A $350,000 Clean Water/Clean Air Bond Act grant will help create the first-ever waterfront park in the South Bronx. The main features of Barretto Point Park, a new five-acre park, will be a waterfront promenade and a large open lawn for general free play. Handball and basketball courts, sand volleyball courts, play equipment, a small amphitheater and new plantings will complete the park.
A Clean Air/Clean Water Bond Act grant of $550,000, awarded to the Randall's Island Sports Foundation, will be used to create the Wards Island Waterfront Pathway. The waterfront path is the crucial first section of an Island-wide walkway featuring a two-tiered biking and pedestrian trail.
INWOOD HILL NATURE CENTER
A $85,000 Clean Air/Clean Water Bond Act grant will fund the construction of a new boathouse at the Inwood Hill Park Nature Center in Upper Manhattan. Parks will use the boathouse to enhance educational programs that focus on the city's marine ecosystem.
ALLEY POND NATURE CENTER
An Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) grant of $250,000 will enhance Parks' youth camping program at the Alley Pond Nature Center in Queens. The funds will improve the nature center's campsite as well as create a new challenge adventure trail, complete with climbing activities. This site is the first overnight Urban Park Ranger camping facility in a City park.
A $350,000 EPF grant, awarded to The Battery Conservancy, will fund the Conservancy's "City Edge" project. The funding will help to revitalize the perimeter of Battery Park, bringing new lighting, benches, plantings and more. The project incorporates a new bikeway from Hudson River Park to the East River Esplanade, completing a key link in the long-awaited pathway around Manhattan.
MARCUS GARVEY PARK
A $295,000 EPF grant will cover a large portion of the funds needed for the Acropolis Restoration and Improvement Project in Marcus Garvey Park in Manhattan. The proposed project will replace benches, lighting and pavement to restore the historic character of the area.
An EPF grant of $198,546 will help create a skateboard/rollerblade/BMX bicycle facility at Midland Beach on Staten Island. This project will provide the first public skate park on Staten Island, serving the community's rapidly-growing population of young people. Local high school skateboarders, skaters and BMX riders helped Parks to design the new facility.
Prepared by Jocelyn Aframe
QUOTATION FOR THE DAY
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, concerned citizens
can change world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has."