Van Cortlandt Park

Sachkerah Woods Playground: July 2007 Park of the Month

This text is part of Parks’ Historical Signs Project and can be found posted within the park.

Van Cortlandt

Sachkerah Woods Playground, located in the southeast corner of Van Cortlandt Park, is July's Park of the Month. The recently reconstructed playground features new play equipment, a comfort station, drinking fountains, benches, fencing, and surrounding park paths. Honoring the Mosholu Golf Course, which opened on the site in 1914, the golf-themed playground features a spray shower in the form of a 19th hole flag, green-colored concrete representing the putting green, and safety surfacing mimicking white concrete sand traps. In addition, oversized golf balls function as creative climbing apparatuses for children. The new comfort station is clad with Corinthian granite set in a random ashlar pattern, and its roof is covered with pink and gray slate. Surrounding paths help to improve the park's east-west internal pedestrian circulation, which was interrupted in the 1950s by the creation of the Mosholu Parkway and the Major Deegan Expressway.

"Sachkerah Woods Playground is a beautiful new golf-themed playground and is the first completely new playground coming out of Croton Filtration Plant funding," said Commissioner Benepe. "The playground's name pays homage to the sprawling natural woods next to the playground, as well as the golf club woods used to play golf. The completion of this project represents the more than $200 million generated by the construction of the filtration plant being reinvested directly back into more than 70 Bronx parks."

Bordering the neighborhoods of Norwood and Bedford Park, Sachkerah Woods Playground creates an exciting new entrance to Van Cortlandt Park, New York City's fourth largest park. The playground site has evolved as Van Cortlandt Park has evolved over time. The lands encompassing Van Cortlandt Park were once inhabited by the Lenape, a local Native American people that hunted in the woodlands and farmed on nearby flat, fertile grounds. "Sachkerah" is an Algonquian name that has been loosely translated as "extended land." In 1914, the site was incorporated into the 18-hole Mosholu Golf Course. In 1989, when the course was reconfigured to a 9-hole course, the site was part of the 11 new acres of green space that opened up to the community.

The $2.9 million Sachkerah Woods Playground was funded by $2.8 million from Croton Filtration Mitigation Funds and $170,000 from Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrión, Jr.

In September 2004, the City Council approved a Memorandum of Understanding with New York State allowing the City to move forward with the construction of a water filtration plant for the Croton Water Supply under the Mosholu Golf Course in Van Cortlandt Park. As part of the agreement, more than $200 million will be spent on improvements to over 70 Bronx parks over the next five years.

Sachkerah Woods Playground is one of ten completed Croton Projects, representing a total of approximately $12 million. There are nine projects totaling $19 million currently in construction and 33 projects totaling $85 million currently in design. The remaining Croton Projects, which have been scheduled to start design over the course of the next two months, represent $74 million.

Over the past five years, Parks & Recreation has invested more than $125 million for Bronx park improvements, including new waterfront parks, greenways, and recreational facilities. Over the next five years, Parks will invest an additional $560 million to develop park projects in the Bronx, including more than $98 million from Mayor Bloomberg's PlaNYC initiative to establish the sustainable growth of New York City by the year 2030, which includes developing Soundview and High Bridge Parks into the Bronx's next great, regional parks.

Park of the Month introduces some of our greatest parks and green spaces to curious New Yorkers and visitors alike.

Directions to Van Cortlandt Park

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