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Davis Playground

Parks & Recreation Breaks Ground At Davis Playground

Friday, July 14, 2006
No. 57

Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe today joined City Council Member Michael McMahon to break ground on construction of Davis Playground on Staten Island’s north shore. Funding for the $1.7 million project has been allocated by Council Member McMahon.

"Our work here at Davis Playground will transform this former asphalt space into a beautiful new playground," said Commissioner Benepe. "It continues an exciting period of park development throughout the parks of Staten Island. Council Member McMahon's commitment to this and other parks on Staten Island is helping us improve the quality of life for residents and visitors alike."

"Today’s groundbreaking is good news for the children of PS 31 and New Brighton. It is a testament to the fact that, one person in this case a young man named Philip, can raise his voice and make a difference for his or her community," said Council Member McMahon. "I am grateful to Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe, Borough Commissioner Thomas Paulo, Michael Browne, Project Manger and P.S. 31, Principal, Patricia Covington for their advocacy and support in making the new Davis Playground a reality."

The project will convert an asphalt yard to a garden with native plants. An amphitheater will provide classroom seating for outdoor lectures. The new environment will create an opportunity for outdoor study in the spirit of the naturalist William T. Davis. Additional elements of the playground will include innovative play equipment, swings, basketball courts and a decorative spray shower. A new flower garden will greet visitors at the entry plaza and path.

During a tour of PS 31 School in 2004, Council Member McMahon was asked by 5th grader Philip Bradley to take a look at the condition of the playground, which was in disrepair. The surface was uneven, fenced off in places, and the playground equipment was outdated or in poor condition. Council Member McMahon promised Philip he would find the funding to build a new playground. Councilman McMahon kept his promise.

Opened in 1969 as Public School 31 Playground, the site was renamed William T. Davis School Playground in 1985 in honor of the Staten Island native and local historian, among whose many community contributions included early advocacy of Staten Island’s park system. Davis Playground is jointly operated by Parks and the Board of Education.

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