FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 18-104
November 27, 2018
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Department of Environmental Protection Joins NYC Parks to Cut the Ribbon on New Longfellow Playground in Hunts Point
Green Infrastructure will Absorb Stormwater, Cleanup the Bronx River, and Improve Air Quality
New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Vincent Sapienza joined NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP, New York City Council Member Rafael Salamanca, Community Board 2 (CB2) District Manager Ralph Acevedo, CB2 Chairman Robert Crespo, and students and staff from P.S. 75 today to cut the ribbon on the newly transformed Longfellow Playground in Hunts Point. This site is the sixth Bronx park to be completely renovated under the Community Parks Initiative (CPI).
To manage stormwater runoff, green infrastructure has been added throughout Longfellow Playground. 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.
“This revitalized playground is not only a wonderful community space, but its new green infrastructure will play 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 make New York City a greener, more resilient place to call home.”
“I am excited to see the community’s vision for a quality green space come to fruition,” said Commissioner Silver. “For more than ten years, this neighborhood has been deprived of an important recreational amenity, but now we can celebrate its restoration so that new generations of children and families can fall in love with Longfellow Playground.”
This project completely reconstructed Longfellow Playground, adding a playground with a tree house motif, mini stage, efficient spray showers with timers, new seating areas, bike racks, a new fence, lighting, landscaping, subsurface stabilization and greenery.
Previously Longfellow Gardens, this site has been closed for more than ten years due to structural safety concerns. At the request of Commissioner Silver, the funding to reconstruct the site was allocated by Mayor Bill de Blasio in the amount of $3.2 million, with additional support provided by the Department of Environmental Protection for green infrastructure.
“After a decade of being closed, I’m incredibly excited to see Longfellow Playground reopen today,” said Council Member Rafael Salamanca Jr. “I used to drive past this park with fond memories from my own childhood and now, I’m thrilled that new memories will be made by children and families in the neighborhood. I thank Parks Commissioner Silver, Community Parks Initiative, and stakeholders for their steadfast commitment and investment in Longfellow Park and South Bronx Parks.”
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.
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.