Astoria Heights Playground


Thursday, December 8, 2016
No. 112

NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP, today joined Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, Council Member Costa Constantinides, Senator Michael Gianaris, Community Board 1 District Manager Florence Koulouris, and Lynn Kennedy representing the Friends of Astoria Heights Park, to break ground on the reconstruction of Astoria Heights Playground under the Community Parks Initiative. The project is funded with nearly $6 million, and will be the first major renovation to this park in more than 20 years.

“Breaking ground to fully transform Astoria Heights Playground represents the Mayor’s vision for a more equitable park system being realized,” said Commissioner Silver. “I’m thrilled to be here today to advance this project into construction, so Astorians can enjoy enhanced play and a greener park, right in their own backyard.”

Council Member Costa Constantinides said, "Improvements to our parks bring vital improvements to our neighborhoods. The new play equipment, spray shower, and ball playing areas will help Astoria Heights Playground better serve the surrounding community. The playground will continue to provide integral greenspace for families in Western Queens to enjoy. I am proud to have allocated part of the funding for this renovation and I thank Mayor de Blasio and Borough President Katz for making this upgrade a priority. I look forward to working with the Parks Department and community stakeholders as the renovation continues."

Senator Michael Gianaris said, “Our community worked hard to make Astoria Heights Playground a safer and more enjoyable family-friendly space beloved all Astorians. I am excited to welcome these new upgrades to our neighborhood and provide recreational opportunities for our youngest residents.”

“Every New Yorker should have access to adequate park space and recreational opportunities for their families,” said Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx). “The renovation of Astoria Heights Playground is welcome news for a community that long pushed to see improvements at the heavily used playground and I’m thrilled the work is now officially underway. This is an investment in the health and safety of everyone who uses it and I thank NYC Parks, Borough President Melinda Katz and Council Member Costa Constantinides for making this project a top priority and delivering for our community.”

The design for this project was based on feedback gathered directly from community members, as well as administration and students from I.S. 10, at public visioning sessions. NYC Parks’ landscape architects also took into account data received from more than 100 residents who responded to surveys conducted by the Friends of Astoria Park. The goals of the project were to increase and upgrade active play capacity for the park, enhance environmental amenities at the site, and provide areas for passive use.

The scope of work will include new play equipment for kids up to age 15, new pavement, and an accessible ramp into the park. Astoria Heights Playground’s mini-pool will be removed, and replaced with a spray shower area featuring 10 in-ground spray jets and 5 upright spray features, which will be more accessible to people of all abilities, and can be used for a longer season than the mini-pool. The renovated park will also include areas for tennis and volleyball games, and the track will be expanded.

The project was funded with $2.2 million from Mayor de Blasio through the Community Parks Initiative and Parks Without Borders programs, $1.5 million from the Department of Environmental Protection, part of its larger commitment to the initiative, $1.1 million from Council Member Constantinides, and $1 million from Borough President Katz.

The comfort station in Astoria Heights Playground is also being renovated with funding from Mayor de Blasio through the Community Parks Initiative. That project is currently in procurement, and is expected to begin construction Spring 2017.

The Community Parks Initiative (CPI), launched by Mayor de Blasio in October 2014, is NYC Parks’ first major step toward a more equitable park system. 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.

Directions to Astoria Heights Playground

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