FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 18-57
June 4, 2018
Department of Environmental Protection and NYC Parks Reopen Two Green Playgrounds on Staten Island
$7.9 Million Investment in McDonald and Levy Playgrounds; Two of the Seven CPI Sites on Staten Island
Green Infrastructure will Absorb Stormwater, Reduce Flooding and Improve Air Quality
The New York City Department of Environmental Protection joined NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP, New York Council Member Debi Rose and Staten Island Deputy Borough President Ed Burke, and community members to cut the ribbons Friday on the newly reconstructed Austin J. McDonald and Levy Playgrounds. McDonald and Levy Playgrounds, respectively, are the third and fourth Community Parks Initiative (CPI) sites to open on Staten Island after undergoing a combined $7.9 million reconstruction; with $6.4 million in funding from Mayor Bill de Blasio and $2.6 million from DEP.
To manage stormwater runoff, green infrastructure has been added throughout both parks. For McDonald Playground, DEP contributed more than $970,000 to install new rain gardens, permeable pavers, a dry well and synthetic turf. This green infrastructure will contribute to a runoff reduction of more than 1.2 million gallons each year. At Levy Playground, DEP provided $675,000 to construct new rain gardens that will contribute to a runoff reduction of nearly 564,000 gallons each 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.
“These new refurbished playgrounds are a terrific community amenity, and because they now include green infrastructure they are playing an important role in managing stormwater to reduce flooding and improve the environment,” said DEP Commissioner Vincent Sapienza. “We thank Commissioner Silver and his team at NYC Parks for being such terrific partners in our efforts to green the five boroughs.”
“New Yorkers in every community should have access to neighborhood parks where they can explore, relax, and exercise their bodies and minds,” said Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP. “I am happy that community members will now be able to find all of that here at McDonald and Levy Playgrounds. With the unveiling of the new amenities and improved green space at these sites, I believe we are taking a step forward to make parks on Staten Island more equitable and accessible.”
“I am thankful to see these investments being made in our parks which will allow them to benefit the public for years to come,” said Staten Island Borough President James Oddo. “Staten Islanders of all ages will be able to enjoy the newly renovated spaces at McDonald and Levy Playgrounds. It is my hope that the new improvements encourage people to get up and get active. Thank you to Mayor de Blasio and DEP for funding these necessary upgrades.”
“West Brighton and Port Richmond are densely populated neighborhoods, and McDonald and Levy playgrounds have long been refuges for children to play after school, on weekends and throughout long, hot summers,” said Council Member Debi Rose. “Today, we celebrate their rebirth, with new playgrounds, landscaping and more. I thank my colleagues in government for recognizing the importance of our parks and for making these investments, which will make a world of difference for generations of North Shore residents.”
“Another set of great upgrades which are sure to be warmly welcome are coming online just in time for the summer months. I know that everyone is excited for these upgrades and I want to thank everyone involved in the Community Parks Initiative to see these vital projects through,” said New York State Senator Diane Savino.
Launched by Mayor de Blasio in October 2014, CPI strives to make NYC Parks a more equitable and accessible parks system by investing in smaller parks that are located in New York City’s densely-populated neighborhoods with higher-than-average concentrations of poverty. Through CPI, the City is investing $318 million in capital dollars to make renovations to 67 parks citywide that have not undergone significant improvements in decades. McDonald and Levy Playgrounds are two of the seven CPI sites on Staten Island.
DEP manages New York City’s water supply, providing more than 1 billion gallons of water each day to more than 9.6 million residents, including 8.6 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 $19.1 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.