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Forest Park

NYC PARKS CUTS THE RIBBON ON IMPROVEMENTS TO MARY WHALEN PLAYGROUND

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, June 6, 2016
No. 37
http://www.nyc.gov/parks

NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP, today joined Council Member Elizabeth Crowley, Community Board 9, Maryann Keller (daughter of Mary Whalen) and local residents to cut the ribbon on Forest Park’s Mary Whalen Playground, which has undergone a full reconstruction including the pre-school and pre-teen play areas, and spray shower area.

This project served to reconfigure and replace the play areas in order to provide safer, more engaging and contemporary play equipment. An additional handicap accessible entrance has been created and additional trees have been planted to break up the asphalt and provide more shade.
“We are very happy to complete the renovations here at Mary Whalen Playground,” said Commissioner Silver. “As much as we want children to have fun in our parks, we more importantly want them to be safe while having fun in our parks. And I am confident that this reconstruction project will allow that. A special thank you goes to Council Member Crowley and the Mayor’s office, who contributed the funding for this project.”
“I am thrilled with this new and improved playground and know it will benefit Woodhaven and all of Queens for generations to come,” said Council Member Crowley. “Renovating this site is part of my ongoing commitment to improving Forest Park, because it is such an integral part of our community for growing children and their families.”
Council Member Crowley contributed $1,000,000 in funding for this project with an additional $185,000 in Mayoral funding.
This playground commemorates Mary Whalen (1917-1987), a local resident who was dedicated to her community. Over her lifetime, Whalen participated in many community organizations such as the Woodhaven Women’s Democratic Club, the Woodhaven Senior Center, and the Supreme Council of the Columbiettes, just to name a few. Residing one block from this playground, Whalen led clean-ups and spent time here with her four children and six grandchildren. When she died on February 15, 1987, this playground did not have a name. Council Member Arthur Katzman introduced a local law in 1988 to name it in her honor, and the playground was formally dedicated on September 26, 1990.

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