Detective Keith L Williams Park
Runners Take Your Marks! Detective Keith L. Williams Park Gets A New Track And Field
Friday, July 28, 2006
Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe today joined City Council Member Leroy G. Comrie, Jr., former City Council Member Archie Spigner, Queens Borough Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski and kids from the City Parks Foundation’s CityParks Track & Field program and Parks & Recreation’s Summer Sports Experience program to celebrate the grand opening of the Detective Keith L. Williams Park’s new track and synthetic turf playing field. City Council Member Comrie allocated $3 million for the track and playing field and Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg added $130,000.
"We are thrilled to cut the ribbon on the track and playing field in honor of Detective Keith L. Williams," said Commissioner Benepe. "Detective Williams was dedicated to his police work as well as to this park, where he started the Keith Round Ball Classics basketball tournament. Thanks to the backing of Council Member Comrie, we have been able to build top-rate athletic venues here that will improve the quality of life in this Queens community."
Participants from two programs tested the new track and raced across the inaugural finish line. CityParks Track & Field program offers New York City kids (ages 5-16) the chance to learn the basics of the sport all summer long, from hurdles and relay races to long jump, shot put, and the javelin throw. CityParks Track & Field is now offered in eleven parks citywide, including four new parks in 2006, one of which is Detective Keith L. Williams Park. Information on any of CPF’s free kids sports instruction programs, including CityParks Tennis and CityParks Golf, is available at www.CityParksFoundation.org or by calling (718) 699-4200. All kids are welcome to participate!
Parks & Recreation’s Summer Sports Experience provides teens (ages 13-15) with intensive sequential training and skill development in several sports—including track, tennis, basketball and others depending on the facilities at each of the three parks where it is offered: Detective Keith L. Williams Park, Haffen Park in the Bronx and Jacob Schiff Park in Manhattan. The pilot program aims to provide quality athletics and fitness programming to teens in high-need neighborhoods without formal teen programs. Parks recruited coaches from the Department of Education and area colleges, college athletes and other sports professionals to offer the highest quality training. Richard James, a member of the 2004 Jamaican Olympic Team, serves as the track coach at Detective Keith L. Williams’ Summer Sports Experience program.
In addition to the new track and field, the Detective Keith L. Williams Park contains a variety of recreational facilities, including Liberty Pool—which also received renovations last summer with funds allocated by Council Member Comrie, four handball courts, two basketball courts, ten tennis courts, a playground, a spray shower, and the Detective Keith L. Williams Recreation Center.
The park was renamed in 1991 in honor of Detective Keith L. Williams, a Jamaica resident and dedicated police officer, who lost his life in the line of duty. It had previously been named Liberty Park, for one of the streets that bounds it. The site was acquired by the City in September of 1936.
The upgrades to Detective Keith L. Williams Park do not stand alone in the borough of Queens. Since 2002, Parks & Recreation has invested $155 million in Queens parks. There is also currently an additional $75 million in design or planning as well as $66 million in active construction to be completed over the next two years.
About City Parks Foundation:
CityParks Track & Field is offered free by the City Parks Foundation, the only independent, nonprofit organization to offer programming in parks throughout the five boroughs of New York City. By creating free arts, sports, and educational programs in over 700 public parks, and by encouraging community development within public parks as a focal point, we help to revitalize not only parks but also the neighborhoods that surround them. City Parks Foundation programs and community-building initiatives now reach more than 600,000 New Yorkers each year, contributing to the renewal of neighborhoods throughout New York City with a particular focus on some of the city's most underserved areas.
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