Grover Cleveland Playground

The Daily Plant : Monday, September 30, 2002


Despite the ceaseless rain, energy was high at the groundbreaking ceremony for Grover Cleveland Park. Commissioner Adrian Benepe, Queens Borough President Helen Marshall, and Council Member Dennis Gallagher huddled under tents alongside Grover Cleveland High School students, community activists, and neighbors on Thursday, September 26 to celebrate the reconstruction of the 5-acre park.

$2.7 million is going towards making Grover Cleveland Park a better place for children of all ages to enjoy. It is located in the Ridgewood section of Queens and behind Grover Cleveland High School. The local Council Member, Dennis Gallagher, had a huge smile on his face during the ceremony, a clear demonstration of his excitement for this project to be beginning.

The much anticipated reconstruction will replace antiquated play equipment with new state-of-the-art modular play equipment. A spray shower creating the illusion of a waterfall and make-believe storefronts will encourage creative play in children. Also, new swings will keep children entertained for hours.

Athletes of all ages can practice their lay-ups and dribbling on new basketball courts. Less active New Yorkers will enjoy nature with new lawns and plantings around the 5.1-acre neighborhood park.

For the first time in this park, a comfort station and community room will be built. It will benefit the park and the community by housing Parks staff, providing space for the neighborhood, and hosting recreational programming.

Borough President Helen Marshall was on-hand for the groundbreaking ceremony and spoke of her personal commitment to making public restroom facilities available to New Yorkers. Of the $2.7 million, $750,000 was funded by Borough President Marshall and earmarked for the new comfort station. The City Council and Council Member Dennis Gallagher funded the other $2 million for the other improvements to the park.

"Many thanks to Borough President Marshall and Council Member Gallagher. It is just their dedication to parks and their willingness to fund crucial projects like this one that will make each and every park in Queens, and all five boroughs, cleaner and greener for everyone to enjoy," said Commissioner Benepe. He added, "We can't celebrate this groundbreaking without mentioning those people that made an idea become reality. Thank you to our landscape designers, Aleksandra Szefke and Patricia Clark and to architects Marisa Moriel and Rich Robbins."

During the speaking portion of the groundbreaking ceremony, Commissioner Benepe also educated the Grover Cleveland High School students on the history of their school's namesake. At the podium, Benepe said "Last elected president 110 years ago, Cleveland is the only president to have served two non-consecutive terms. He is also the only President to have married while in office (he married a woman 28 years younger than himself)." While the students were aware of Cleveland terms in office, it was his personal life that surprised the teenagers.

All in all, what was a cold and wet day turned into a happy and positive one, if only during the groundbreaking ceremony. Everyone that stepped out into the rain at the event demonstrated their dedication to Grover Cleveland Park and to the Ridgewood neighborhood. In the near future, Grover Cleveland Park will be a better, safer, and greener park to enjoy.

(Monday, October 9, 1989)


Last Thursday, City officials unveiled plans for a Korean War memorial to be made not only of stone and metal, but air, shadow and light.

The plan calls for a black granite slab in Battery Park with a 20-foot cut-out of a soldier. It has been designed so that every July 23 at 10 a.m. the sun will shine through the outline and fall on a plaque commemorating the end of "the forgotten war." The monument will make New York one of the first cities to build a memorial to honor Korean War veterans of all nations.

''Life is all memory except for the one present moment
that goes by you so quick you hardly catch it going''
Tennessee Williams

Directions to Grover Cleveland Playground

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