FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 14, 2010
MAYOR BLOOMBERG BREAKS GROUND ON PLANYC REGIONAL PARK IN FAR ROCKAWAY
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe, joined by children from P.S. 43, today broke ground on the fourth of eight regional parks proposed under PlaNYC, the City’s long-term plan for a greener, greater New York. The regional parks address the need for open space and more recreational facilities for an expanding population. The park in Far Rockaway – from Beach 28th Street to Beach 32nd Street and Beach 11th Street to Beach 17th Street – will include the construction of $28.3 million in new and completely renovated recreational facilities covering 13 acres. The park will encourage year-round community use including a performance venue and lawn area, a variety of sports courts, a synthetic turf football field, and a skate park and climbing wall. The Mayor was joined by State Senate President Malcolm A. Smith, Assembly Member Audrey Pheffer and Council Member James Sanders, who provided $2 million for the project.
“The fact that we are moving forward on these projects – in spite of the tough economy – demonstrates our firm commitment to sustainability and to maintaining our City’s unbeatable quality of life by investing in the green spaces of the future,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Once the shovels go in the ground in Far Rockaway, half of the regional parks promised in PlaNYC will be under construction, a milestone in our efforts to make sure every city resident lives within a 10-minute walk of a park or playground.”
“Thanks to Mayor Bloomberg’s vision, we are currently in the era of the largest park expansion since the Works Progress Administration days of the 1930s. Since the Mayor took office in 2002, Parks has spent more than $1.3 billion on improving and building parks around the city,” said Commissioner Benepe. “The regional park project in Far Rockaway is the fourth under construction of eight proposed PlaNYC regional parks that aim to meet the needs of both the city’s growing population and the new generation of park users who skateboard, mountain bike, rock climb, kayak, surf and more!”
The first phase of the project, launched today, will create a 13-acre park that will stretch form Beach 11th Street to Beach 17th Street and also Beach 28th Street to Beach 32nd Street. The park will contain amenities including a synthetic turf football field, a performance venue, a skate park, a central lawn area, a variety of other athletic courts, and a climbing wall. All of these facilities will be welcome additions to the community, which is growing quickly because of the new housing created by the Arverne-by-the-Sea project and other projects on the Rockaway peninsula. Phase 1 of this project will cost approximately $28 million and be completed by the spring of 2012. The start date for Phase 2, which will include the renovation the Beach 9th Street playground, has not been scheduled.
Far Rockaway has been identified as a “Trees for Public Health” neighborhood, meaning it has fewer than average street trees and higher than average rates of asthma among young people. This designation means that as part of the MillionTreesNYC campaign, the neighborhood has been fully stocked with street trees. Additional trees in these neighborhoods will reduce the pollutants that trigger respiratory disorders, and contribute to healthier living standards. MillionTreesNYC is an initiative of PlaNYC that aims to plant one million trees by 2017 in New York City.
Stu Loeser / Jason Post (212) 788-2958
Vickie Karp (Parks) (212) 360-1311
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