Seward Park

Parks And New York Junior League “Reopen” Seward Park

Saturday, June 9, 2007
No. 72

Today, Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe and New York Junior League (NYJL) President Trisha Duval unveiled the renovations to William H. Seward Park.

Throughout April and May, the NYJL’s Playground Improvement Committee teamed up with more than 1,000 volunteers to refurbish the Lower East Side park for the community. The Seward Park House will now host after-school and summer programs thanks to a restoration, which included a fresh coat of paint, plumbing and restrooms. A new garden oasis that reflects the culture of the neighborhood has replaced a neglected and overgrown lot. The basketball court has been repaved and benches and all playground equipment have been cleaned and repainted.

“Seward Park recently celebrated its 100th birthday, but it has new life today, thanks to the New York Junior League's fundraising and volunteer recruitment efforts,” said Commissioner Benepe. “A thousand volunteers have revitalized the oldest municipal playground in the United States, and made it even more beautiful for its diverse community of users.”

For 16 years, the NYJL has worked in partnership with Parks & Recreation to revitalize neglected playgrounds and parks in many neighborhoods in Manhattan. The largest and most ambitious project to date, the Seward Park Playground Project brought together more than one thousand corporate and community volunteers for nine full days of work over five weekends.

“It is fitting that the NYJL undertook the Seward Park Playground Project, as our founders worked with immigrants here on the Lower East Side,” said NYJL President Trisha Duval. “This project represents a valuable and productive sixteen-year partnership with the Parks Department to restore and beautify New York City’s public parks and playgrounds.”

Seward Park opened in 1903 as part of a reform effort to promote play in public playgrounds as a safer and more community-building alternative to play in city streets. Since then, it has undergone several renovations, and its newest design considers the legacy of park namesake William Henry Seward (1801-1872), an American statesman.

Directions to Seward Park

Was this information helpful?