New York City will revitalize 11 aging public parks as part of an ongoing initiative to spruce up dozens of recreational spaces that have gone nearly two decades without major upgrades.
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the expansion of his administration’s “Community Parks Initiative” at a Lower East Side playground Monday afternoon, saying the 11 parks will be added to an existing list of 56 parks slated for an overhaul.
De Blasio, speaking at a news conference at Joseph Sauer Park, said the $318 million program aims to upgrade more than 60 city parks in “growing neighborhoods where there are higher than average concentrations of poverty.”
“It’s time to make sure that every neighborhood gets a fair shake,” said de Blasio, who was surrounded by city officials and local activists who have been pleading for money to refurbish the tree-lined park.
De Blasio unveiled the initiative in 2014, kicking off the program with 35 parks that had received less than $250,000 in city funding for repairs over the previous 20 years. The list of parks since has grown to 67.
The city has finished work on five parks since the program’s launch, and another 12 are scheduled to be completed at the end of the year, de Blasio said. Work on all the parks, including the 11 announced Monday, is expected to be completed by late 2020 or early 2021, city officials said.
City Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver said the park improvements will “strengthen” neighborhoods, and noted that public meetings would be held to draw community input on each park.
“Thousands more will now have the opportunity to re-imagine and rebuild their most precious resource — their shared public space,” Silver said.
The 11 parks added to the revitalization list Monday include Prospect Playground and Mapes Ballfield in the Bronx.
In Manhattan, Bill Bojangles Robinson Playground, Harlem Lane Playground, Joseph C. Sauer Park, and Playground One will all be eligible for the revitalization funds. In Brooklyn, Bartlett Playground, Lewis Playground and Penn Triangle will now be a part of the initiative, as will Chappetto Square in Queens and Mariners Harbor Playground in Staten Island.