FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 24, 2012
MAYOR BLOOMBERG DISCUSSES THE HUGE GROWTH OF CITY PARKS SYSTEM OVER THE LAST 10 YEARS AND THE OPENING OF PUBLIC POOLS THIS SUMMER IN WEEKLY RADIO ADDRESS
The following is the text of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s weekly radio address as prepared for delivery on 1010 WINS News Radio for Sunday, June 24, 2012.
“Good Morning. This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
“New Yorkers enjoy a system of city parks that’s the biggest and best in the nation, and it keeps getting bigger, and better, all the time. On Thursday, for example, we’ll open the City’s free outdoor swimming pools for the season. And for the first time in nearly 30 years, that will include the pool in McCarren Park in Williamsburg. Built back in the 1930s, it was closed after it fell into disrepair. But five years ago, PlaNYC, our agenda for a greener, greater New York, made reopening the pool a priority – one we’ve made good on now.
“In PlaNYC, we identified McCarren as one of eight ‘regional’ City parks that we’re now reviving. Last week, for example, we started work on $15 million worth of improvements, including a new soccer field, playground, and outdoor amphitheatre, at another of these parks: Soundview Park in the South Bronx. And from Rockaway Park to Staten Island’s Ocean Breeze Park, to the High Bridge that links the Bronx and Manhattan, we’re improving other regional parks so more New Yorkers can enjoy them.
“In fact, all across our growing city, the City parks system is growing, too. Since 2002, we’ve added 730 acres of new parkland, much of it along the city’s waterfront. Another 2,000 acres at Staten Island’s Fresh Kills, in what will be the largest new park in New York in more than a century, are on the way. Parks in the Bronx are experiencing the biggest wave of improvements in 75 years; other major projects, like building new ice skating rinks in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, are underway, too. During the past five years, we’ve also converted more than 200 schoolyards into playgrounds that stay open when schools are closed – giving hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers, especially children, new recreation opportunities. They’re a big reason why today more than three-fourths of New Yorkers live within a 10-minute walk of a park.
“All of these achievements – and others, too – are a tribute to the extraordinary leadership of the City’s Parks and Recreation Commissioner for the past 10-and-a-half years, Adrian Benepe. Adrian’s career in our parks system stretches back nearly 40 years – to a summer job as an Urban Park Ranger when he was a student. And starting in September, in a newly created position at the non-profit Trust for Public Land, he’ll apply the same expertise, and many of the same ideas, to improving urban parks nationwide – including ensuring that every city dweller has a park or garden within a 10-minute walk of home.
“This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg. Thanks for listening.”
Stu Loeser (212) 788-2958
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