London Planetree Playground
New 10,000 Square Foot Skate Park Opens In London Planetree PlaygroundFor Immediate Release
Sunday, June 23, 2013
Queens Parks Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski today joined Deputy Borough President Barry Grodenchik, Council Member Eric Ulrich, Assembly Member Michael Miller, members of Community Board 9, and local skaters to celebrate the completion of $1.723 million in improvements to Ozone Park's London Planetree Playground.
"With a new skate park, new basketball courts, and new exercise equipment, the redesigned London Planetree Playground now includes fitness and recreation opportunities for parkgoers of all ages," said Parks Commissioner Veronica M. White. “The project is constructed for the 21st century, including new kinds of amenities and a sustainable design that captures stormwater and uses recycled materials. I'd like to thank Borough President Marshall and Council Member Ulrich for their investment in this park and in Queens’ future."
“Just days after the official start of summer, London Plane Tree Park is ready for business with improvements that will help a new generation enjoy recreational and relaxing activities in one of our city’s great urban oases,” said Borough President Marshall. “I had the privilege of providing a million dollars in capital funding for these improvements and look forward to the sounds of fun and laughter that these improvements will generate.”
“London Plane Tree Park has undergone an amazing transformation and has never looked better,” said Council Member Ulrich. “As someone who was born and raised in Ozone Park, I am elated to see this project come to fruition. The middle section of the park was in serious need of renovation and was wholly underutilized. I was proud to partner with Borough President Marshall and the Parks Department, both of whom played a critical role in making this dream come true.”
The renovation includes a new 10,000 square-foot skate park, two basketball courts, two adult fitness stations, a walking path, sitting areas, a plaza with rain gardens, and trees and plantings throughout the site. The skate park design includes two-, three- and five-stair sections, grind rails, hubba ledges, a stamped-brick quarter pipe and a series of banks and slopes. The project was funded with $1 million allocated by Borough President Marshall and $723,000 allocated by Council Member Ulrich.
As with all of our capital improvement projects, the new design includes sustainable elements. The park now has fewer paved surfaces and more planted ones, with the amount of permeable space that can absorb storm water increased by almost 30 percent. The skate park is surrounded by an installation of recycled granite-block paving stones and sand that will channel water into nearby rain gardens. And the new plants and trees were selected for their ability to provide habitat for birds and beneficial insects.
The playground is named for the London Planetree (Platanus x acerifolia), a species that is found throughout this site and is also one of the most popular trees on City streets.