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May 2, 2018; 718-595-6600

Department of Environmental Protection Joins NYC Parks to Break Ground on $3.5 Million Restoration of Longfellow Gardens

After Years of Closure, Longfellow Gardens is Being Totally Reconstructed Through Community Parks Initiative and Will Serve as New, Green Neighborhood Amenity

Green Infrastructure will Absorb Stormwater, Cleanup East River and Improve Air Quality

Photos Available Here

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection joined NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP, Community Board 2 District Manager Ralph Acevedo and children from P.S. 75 on Tuesday to break ground at Longfellow Gardens, which will be transformed into a playground and reopened to the public as “Longfellow Playground”. This site is among the first of 17 Bronx parks that will be completely renovated under the Community Parks Initiative (CPI).

To manage stormwater runoff, green infrastructure will be added throughout Longfellow Gardens. 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.

“The Community Parks Initiative serves as a model for how City agencies can partner to help ensure that New Yorkers get the biggest bang for their buck,” said DEP Commissioner Vincent Sapienza. “DEP is funding the construction of green infrastructure within each park, which will help to improve the health of local waterways and provide important amenities to communities that need them the most.”

“Reopening this green space to the community has been a priority of mine,” said Commissioner Silver. “With input from the neighborhood, we’ve completely reimagined this space. When we finish construction, this playground will be a fun and thriving playground for kids, their families and friends—especially students from the nearby P.S. 75.”

“Today’s groundbreaking at Longfellow Gardens means a great deal to me,” said Council Member Rafael Salamanca Jr. “I grew up across the street from the park and spent countless summers there with my sister and friends, cooling off in the sprinklers. For years, this park has been abandoned, and I’m thrilled to see the first step in its revitalization today. I’d like to thank Commissioner Silver and the Parks Department for their work and making this park and other forgotten parks, a priority.”

This project will completely reconstruct Longfellow Park, adding a playground with tree house motif, mini stage, spray shower, new seating areas, bike racks, a new fence, lighting, landscaping and greenery. The park will open to the public when construction is completed in the fall of 2018.

Also on Tuesday, the City cut the ribbon on another CPI site in the Bronx—Ranaqua Playground. 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 approximately 1 billion gallons of high quality drinking 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, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

More Information

NYC Department of Environmental Protection
Public Affairs

59-17 Junction Boulevard
19th Floor
Flushing, NY 11373

(718) 595-6600