NYC Parks unveiled the newly-renovated Jackie Robinson Park in Harlem on Thursday, celebrating the completion of the $4.7 million renovations that is the second showcase project of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Parks Without Borders Initiative (PWB).
“Parks Without Borders focuses on enhancing our open spaces by improving the connections between parks and neighborhoods. This is especially important for parks like Jackie Robinson, which play such a vital role in the surrounding community,” Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver said. “Thanks to Mayor de Blasio’s OneNYC funding for this placemaking initiative, we have transformed the experience for parkgoers enjoying this public space for many years to come.”
The 12.77-acre park bounded by Bradhurst Avenue, 155th Street, Edgecombe Avenue, and 145th Street in Harlem was nominated for revitalization by the community and underwent major changes that included the refurbishing of entrances, paths, seating, lighting, and stairways to improve access to the park.
Improved landscaping, fencing, and benches were also installed along Edgecombe Avenue, which is currently serving as a Department of Transportation (DOT) Open Streets location.
It’s a major facelift for a Harlem staple, which was opened as a playground in 1911.
Originally named Colonial Park, it was renamed for Jackie Robinson — the man who broke Major League Baseball’s color barrier in 1947 with the Brooklyn Dodgers — in 1978 and is one of four Historic Harlem Parks.
Since 2015, PWB has received more than 6,000 nominations for 691 parks, which is roughly 30% of the city’s parks. Seward Park in Manhattan is the only other project that has been completed by PWB, which happened in January of this year.
Currently, there are six projects ongoing at Fort Greene Park, Prospect Park (Brooklyn), Van Cortlandt Park, Hugh Grant Circle/Virginia Park and Playground (Bronx), Faber Park (Staten Island), and Flushing Meadows-Corona Park (Queens)
Utilizing an online survey and 37 conferences with citizens, Parks received more than 6,000 nominations for 691 parks—approximately 30 percent of our parks. The eight selected showcase projects, sharing $40 million in funding from Mayor de Blasio, were revealed in May 2016; and an additional $10 million has been applied to another 40 capital projects in progress.