Neighborhood Parks Have A Lot To Offer This Summer
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg
the warm weather months upon us, more and more New Yorkers are
getting out to our parks to enjoy ballgames, picnics, concerts
and other forms of recreation. In addition to great zoos and botanical
gardens, New York City has by far the largest system of city parks
in the nation, with more than 1,500 parks, beaches, playgrounds
and gardens covering more than 26,000 acres. And we’re working
hard to add to New York’s network of parks in every borough, and
to make our existing open spaces even more beautiful and inviting.
Just in time for summer, we opened the biggest portion yet of
New York’s newest park: the Greenwich Village segment of Hudson
River Park. Work on other sections of the park is also underway.
When it’s finished, Hudson River Park will stretch from Battery
Park north to 59th Street and, for the first time, open up a major
stretch of the city’s waterfront to public use and enjoyment.
We also unveiled plans to renovate or build more than a dozen
parks and open spaces in Lower Manhattan. Many of these projects,
which will be funded with a $25 million grant from the Lower Manhattan
Development Corporation, will be completed within the next 12
months; all will be finished within 24 months. They’ll serve the
area’s growing population as well as the thousands of workers
and shoppers who are in Lower Manhattan every day, and they’ll
be a tangible symbol of Downtown’s continuing revival.
New York has 578 miles of shoreline, and we’re going forward with
plans for waterfront parks and open space in each borough. In
Brooklyn, we’re working with State government and the local community
to establish Brooklyn Bridge Park. On Staten Island, construction
of Bloomingdale and Charleston Parks on fast-growing South Shore
is well underway and both should be completed next year. In Queens,
our Administration is committing $4.6 million to create a nature
preserve at Udall’s Cove in Bayside. And in a few weeks, we’ll
begin construction on Baretto Point Park, the first waterfront
park in the South Bronx.
Everywhere you go, New York’s parks and playgrounds look great.
The spring showers have helped. So has the planting of more than
20,000 flowers by the Department of Parks and Recreation. Just
as importantly, thousands of New Yorkers have volunteered to clean
and beautify parks throughout the city in recent months. I honored
nearly 400 of our most devoted volunteers in a ceremony designating
them as “park wardens.”
Working with City employees and with hundreds of workers who are
transitioning from welfare to work, volunteers have helped our
parks and playgrounds earn a cleanliness rating of 91% so far
this year. Good as that is, there’s always room for improvement.
Why not consider giving some of your free time to “clean and green”
our parks? Just dial 311 to find out how. It’s a great way to
help the community — and also to enjoy what our wonderful neighborhood
parks have to offer.#
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