Hilltop Playground

NYC PARKS COMPLETES $3 MILLION RENOVATION OF HILLTOP PLAYGROUND

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, March 21, 2018
No. 10
http://www.nyc.gov/parks

Formerly known as Saratoga Ballfields, Hilltop Playground will be officially renamed and reopened as part of Commissioner Silver’s Ribbon-Cutting Relay – five Community Parks Initiative sites opened in a single day
$24 million in total renovations opened across city
NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP, yesterday joined members of Community Board 16, local school officials and students from PS 178, and community members to officially rename and open Hilltop Playground, formerly Saratoga Ballfields. The park, part of NYC Park’s $318-million Community Parks Initiative, was opened as part of Commissioner Silver’s Ribbon-Cutting Relay, in which he opened five renovated CPI sites across the city in a single day.
“In 2014 we launched the Community Parks Initiative with a commitment to bring world-class neighborhood parks to all New Yorkers. Today, we’re seeing the results of that promise,” said Mayor de Blasio. “The five completely rebuilt parks we opened today illustrate the breadth and impact of CPI, which has already impacted more than one million children through physical park improvements, expanded programming, and enhanced community partnerships.”
“The Community Parks Initiative is about creating a fairer and more accessible park system for ALL New Yorkers – and there’s no better expression of that than opening fully renovated parks across the city in a single day,” said Commissioner Silver. “Not only has the former Saratoga Ballfields site in Brooklyn been completely transformed with $3 million in improvements, it also boasts a brand new name, Hilltop Playground, chosen by the community.”
“DEP is proud to be a partner in NYC Parks’ Community Parks Initiative, which is transforming neighborhood parks across the city,” said DEP Commissioner Vincent Sapienza. “By installing green infrastructure in these rebuilt playgrounds we are helping to reduce stormwater runoff and improve the health of local waterways including Jamaica Bay, Newtown Creek and the Bronx River.”
“I thank Parks Commissioner Silver for his leadership in renovating Hilltop Playground, creating a great place for children and families to enjoy recreation and relaxation. Brownsville is getting greener – and that’s a good thing for a growing neighborhood that has historically been underserved in quality community parks. When we invest in open space, we invest in the health and safety of our communities,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.
"Our public parks and playgrounds are a major resource in our communities. The Community Parks Initiative is an exciting program and I am happy to see this investment in parks that have gone underfunded for many years. All children and all communities should be able to have safe, clean and quality outdoor space available to them,” said State Senator Velmanette Montgomery.
“We live in a society where we have to beg our kids to go outside or to put their smartphones down, so it’s gratifying to know that they have a new park that will make them forget about the smartphones,” said State Assemblywoman Latrice Walker. ”I commend NYC Parks for giving the children in the 55th Assembly District a park they deserve.”
“This ribbon cutting and park renaming is exciting because it gives our children a safe and colorful place to have fun and engage in healthy play time,” said City Council Member Alicka Ampry-Samuel. “I encourage all local families to come by and make great use of all this beautiful, state-of-the-art park has to offer!”
"In spite of the chill in the air on this first day of spring, it is heartwarming to see the community's advocacy become a tangible asset available to the residents and visitors of our community,” said Genese Morgan, Chairperson of Community Board 16. “We look forward to Hilltop Playground being a place that forges new memories, meaningful experiences, and civic relationships for the Ocean Hill-Brownsville community beyond the foreseeable future. We thank NYC Parks and our elected officials for allocating much needed funds to develop Hilltop."
The $3 million reconstruction of the newly renamed Hilltop Playground includes brand new play equipment for children of all ages, an interactive spray shower, and full and half-court basketball courts. New fencing, landscaping, security lighting, and entrances will provide easy and safe access, and a synthetic turf multi-purpose play field will accommodate various sports and free play. The new space also offers a community gathering green, a walking track and outdoor fitness equipment. The new name was suggested by the local community group, “What About the Children, Inc.” because of the parks’ location atop a hill.
The reconstruction includes $1.4 million in new Green Infrastructure elements to capture storm water, which were developed and funded through a partnership with the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). The entrances and edges were also reconstructed with $233,000 through the Parks Without Borders program.
On Ribbon-Cutting Relay Day, NYC Parks cut the ribbon on a CPI park in every borough. Starting at Arrochar Playground in Staten Island, Commissioner Silver made his way to Grassmere Playground in Far Rockaway, Queens; then to Hilltop Playground in Brooklyn; up to Lyons Square Playground in the South Bronx; and finally to Martin Luther King, Jr. Playground.
CPI was initially launched in 2014, and is funded through 2019 with $318 million in capital dollars funding renovations of more than 60 community parks that have not undergone significant improvements in decades. All of the parks and playgrounds that will receive improvements are in dense, fast-growing neighborhoods with an above-average percentage of residents living below the poverty level.

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