FDNY-EMT Yadira Arroyo Playground


Thursday, July 26, 2018

Local Parkchester playground to be rebuilt in vision of community as part of Community Parks Initiative

NYC Parks Bronx Commissioner Iris Rodriguez-Rosa today joined Council Member Ruben Diaz Sr., Assembly Member Marcos Crespo, State Senator Luis Sepulveda, State Senator Jeffrey Klein, Community Board 9 and students from nearby PS 119 to break ground on a $1.5 million reconstruction of Black Rock Playground. The project is funded entirely by Mayor de Blasio as part of the Community Parks Initiative, a citywide effort to make a more equitable park system. Construction is expected to be complete in winter 2019.

“The students of PS 119 use Black Rock Playground every day,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver. “Yet, this playground hasn’t seen meaningful improvements since 1997. Today, we are changing that. We are giving this playground a complete makeover to ensure the kids and families of Parkchester have the kind of modern playground they deserve.”

“Our parks are an essential resource that bring Bronx families and communities together,” said State Senator Klein. “The children of Parkchester and surrounding neighborhoods need and deserve a wonderful space to play and thrive, and that’s what the Black Rock Playground will become thanks to Mayor de Blasio’s Community Park’s Initiative and the NYC Parks Department.”

“For years, I have advocated to expand access to clean, green recreational spaces in the Bronx. With this project, Parkchester families will be able to enjoy a completely renovated playground with state of the art swings, benches, and water play features surrounded by trees, plants and lighting at night. The inclusive process used to envision this new space will make it something that all in the community can enjoy,” said Congressman Jose E. Serrano.

“This $1.5 million reconstruction project is another step forward towards improving the quality of life for our residents and The Bronx overall,” said Assembly Member Crespo. “I am proud to stand with my colleagues, with NYC Parks, the City of New York and Bronx Commissioner Iris Rodriguez-Rosa in their efforts to continue to beautify and make our parks safe and fun for children and families.”

“I want to thank Mayor Bill DeBlasio for his Community Parks Initiative and choosing Black Rock Playground as a recipient of a $1.5 million dollar grant,” said Council Member Diaz Sr. “Black Rock Playground is heavily utilized by the children of PS 119 and children in the surrounding area and they deserve better. Unfortunately, this park has not seen any significant improvement since 1997. Today, marks a new day for the playground and I look forward to seeing the work of the NYC Parks Department come to fruition.”

The new design for Black Rock Playground was created with input from the Parkchester community, who shared their needs and wants with NYC Parks at a community visioning session in 2016. The playground will be revamped with new play equipment, swings and water play features to keep kids cool in the summer. The playground will also receive new benches, water fountains, trees, plants and lighting. Additionally, some of the fencing will be lowered to make the park more open and welcoming, and the drainage systems will be rebuilt to decrease runoff.

Launched by Mayor de Blasio in October 2014, the Community Parks Initiative (CPI) strives to make NYC Parks a more equitable and accessible parks system by investing in smaller parks that are located in New York City’s densely-populated neighborhoods with higher-than-average concentrations of poverty. Through CPI, the City is investing $318 million in capital dollars to make renovations to 67 parks citywide—including 18 in the Bronx—that have not undergone significant improvements in decades.

Black Rock Playground is named after the black rock outcroppings in the area, formed of gneiss--a coarse-grained, imperfectly layered metamorphic rock, characterized by alternating dark and light bands. It is from the Hartland formation and dates back hundreds of millions of years, when an unknown land mass collided with North America and buried sedimentary rocks and volcanics on the edge of the continent. Several miles below the earth’s surface, at temperatures over 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit, the sedimentary rock and volcanics were forged into gneiss.

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