Watson Gleason Playground

The Daily Plant : Tuesday, October 15, 2002


Photo by Malcolm Pinckney

Clouds loomed overhead, but it was anticipation that filled the air. "Is the President here yet?" eagerly inquired one second-grader, as he and his fellow CS47 classmates took their seats. On Thursday, September 24, Commissioner Benepe, joined Bronx Borough Commissioner Dottie Lewandowski, Council Member Rev. Ruben Diaz, and his son Assembly Member Ruben Diaz to officially cut the ribbon for the $1 million reconstruction of Watson Gleason Playground in the south Bronx.

For the first time ever, Watson Gleason Playground has a seating area for park patrons to enjoy. Athletes of all ages can challenge their skills on the new basketball and handball courts. Parks has beautified the entrance area and repaired the sidewalk and interior drainage system. Shrubs, ground cover, and trees including Eastern redbud and serviceberry have been planted to bring shade and more greenery to the playground. The completion of Watson Gleason Playground marks the end of a two-phase project. Phase I, completed in 1999, included the addition of new swings, play equipment, game tables, benches and more.

To celebrate Watson Gleason's latest additions, the children delighted the crowd with a stellar performance of "Yankee Doodle," complete with hand motions. In turn, Commissioner Benepe delighted the children with a rousing rendition of the SpongeBob SquarePants theme song. During the ceremony, Commissioner Benepe remarked, "Children make up 25% of our population, but they are 100% of our future."

Thank you to former Council Member Lucy Cruz for funding this $1 million renovation. Parks Landscape Architect Bob Cook oversaw the design vision of Vollmer Associates while Parks Resident Engineer Anthony Williams worked with PMS Construction to create this new and improved park. Officer Dais of the 43rd Precinct, Elba Pena, Chair of Community Board 9 and Nancy Barthold, Assistant Commissioner for Capital Projects were also on hand for the ribbon cutting.

As the ceremony came to a close, and the adults begin to clean off the cookie crumbs, the children were already hard at play on the handball courts. Grinning from ear to ear, the students tossed their pink bouncy balls, courtesy of Operation's Meet the Manager Program, into the air. Despite the clouds looming overhead, it's safe to say that everyone had a ball at the Watson Gleason Playground Ribbon Cutting.

Written by Jocelyn Aframe

(Tuesday, October 24, 1989)


The abundant beauty of Pelham Bay Park has become more accessible to lovers of hiking and nature. After four years of combined effort by the Appalachian Mountain Club and Parks, the six-mile Siwanoy Trail opened in Pelham Bay Park on Saturday, October 21.

“This is the fourth major trail opened in the Bronx under my administration,” said Commissioner Stern, at the ribbon cutting ceremony near the historic Bartow-Pell Mansion. Kate Whitney Bukofzer of the New York-New Jersey Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) Urban Trails Subcommittee also unveiled a new sign marking the trail.


"What the philosopher is seeking is not truth,
but rather the metamorphosis of the world into man.”

Friedrich Nietzsche October 15, 1844–1900)

Directions to Watson Gleason Playground

  • Watson Gleason Playground

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