FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 17-108
December 4, 2017
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Department of Environmental Protection Joins NYC Parks to Reopen “Green” Seabury Park After $777k Renovation
First Bronx Community Parks Initiative Site to Open—One of 18 Planned in the Borough
Green Infrastructure will Absorb Stormwater, Cleanup East River and Improve Air Quality
The New York City Department of Environmental Protection on Thursday joined NYC Parks, Councilmember Rafael Salamanca, Jr. and students from the East Bronx Academy for the Future to cut the ribbon on the newly reconstructed Seabury Park. Seabury Park is the first Community Parks Initiative (CPI) site to open in the Bronx after undergoing a $777,000 full reconstruction which was funded by Mayor Bill de Blasio, with $160,000 provided by DEP for green infrastructure.
To manage stormwater runoff, green infrastructure has been added throughout Seabury Park. Green features include a rain garden, underground storm chambers and permeable concrete and flood-tolerant plants which, combined, are able to capture up to 69,000 gallons of stormwater per year. DEP has committed approximately $50 million in funding for green infrastructure installations at CPI sites throughout the city, helping to reduce sewer overflows that sometimes occur during heavy rainfall, improve air quality and lower summertime temperatures.
“DEP is proud to be a partner in NYC Parks’ Community Parks Initiative which is transforming neighborhood parks across the city,” said DEP Commissioner Vincent Sapienza. “We are always looking for ways in which we can reduce the water that enters our sewer system to help mitigate the risk of CSO’s, and we were able to do just that with this project at Seabury Park in the Bronx. The newly installed green infrastructure at this playground will help to reduce stormwater runoff, improve the health of the surrounding waterways, and beautify the neighborhood.”
“Before this renovation, eighty percent of Seabury Park was closed to the public because of sinking pavement and other unsafe conditions,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver, FAICP. “Today, this park is opening in full and has received a complete makeover. I know this revamped park will be heavily used by children at the East Bronx Academy, who have played on these courts daily for many years. Seabury Park is just the beginning—the Community Parks Initiative will fully renovate 17 additional Bronx parks in high-poverty areas, some of which are already underway.”
“These are the types of investments needed in the South Bronx,” said Council Member Salamanca. “The Mid Bronx Desperadoes saw the need for greenspace here twenty years ago, and I’m pleased that the city is building on their commitment to the community by this sizable investment to renovate Seabury Park.”
Seabury Park has undergone a complete transformation and now features a new multi-use court designed for basketball, volleyball, street games and other sports. A seating area with benches and picnic tables has also been added along with new trees and other plantings. The park design was based on feedback gathered directly from the community at public input sessions.
Launched by Mayor de Blasio in October 2014, CPI aims to create a more equitable parks system by investing in parks that are located in New York City’s densely-populated neighborhoods with higher-than-average concentrations of poverty. CPI is investing $318 million in capital dollars to reconstruct 67 parks citywide that have not undergone significant improvements in decades, including 18 Bronx parks.
Formerly an abandoned lot, Seabury was established as a park in 1997 with support from the Mid-Bronx Desperadoes community group. The park’s name can be traced to Samuel Seabury (1710-1796), rector of St. Peter’s Church at Westchester Square.
DEP manages New York City’s water supply, providing more than one billion gallons of water each day to more than nine million residents, including eight million in New York City. The water is delivered from a watershed that extends more than 125 miles from the city, comprising 19 reservoirs and three controlled lakes. Approximately 7,000 miles of water mains, tunnels and aqueducts bring water to homes and businesses throughout the five boroughs, and 7,500 miles of sewer lines and 96 pump stations take wastewater to 14 in-city treatment plants. DEP has nearly 6,000 employees, including almost 1,000 in the upstate watershed. In addition, DEP has a robust capital program, with a planned $20.7 billion in investments over the next 10 years that will create up to 3,000 construction-related jobs per year. For more information, visit nyc.gov/dep, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.