Dromm, Marshall Announce Extension Of Travers Park
In what is a major success for the neighborhood of Jackson Heights, a deal was reached to preserve the last remaining open space in a congested community which has one of the worst ratios of persons to park space acreage in the city. Seizing a once in a lifetime opportunity to bring more parkland to the area, city officials quickly began negotiations with the Garden School as soon as their athletic field was put up for sale over a year ago. The agreement reached with the city is a win-win for Jackson Heights and the Garden School, who negotiated in good faith to ensure that the lot remained an open space for the area.
At 25,000 square feet, the Garden School athletic field is a significant addition to neighboring Travers Park. The lot was purchased for $6 million, of which $4 million was secured by Councilmember Daniel Dromm. The Mayor’s office and the Queens Borough President Helen Marshall’s office contributed $1 million each.
“Every New Yorker should have access to adequate parks and recreational opportunities and Jackson Heights was in dire need of additional park space,” Dromm said. “The opportunity to preserve this open space and expand Travers Park was simply too great to pass up. I commend Deputy Mayor Wolfson, the Garden School board members and Borough President Marshall for their commitment to the Jackson Heights community and their extraordinary effort in making this deal come to fruition. The residents of our neighborhood deserve this.”
“When Councilmember Dromm approached me with this proposal I immediately saw the benefit and was happy to provide $1 million in capital funding to help make this project become a reality,” Marshall said. “This deal will benefit both the Garden School and the public and provide muchneeded open space in this community.”
“Today, we’ve set in motion the acquisition of an important addition to the adjacent Travers Park and a vital piece of recreational space,” City Department of Parks and Recreation Adrian Benepe said. “Jackson Heights needs additional open space, and I want to thank the neighborhood park advocates, local elected and community officials, the Garden School, Mayor Bloomberg and our colleagues in City Hall who all worked together to move the process forward.”
Dromm and community advocates, with the approval of Queens Community Board 3, have already secured permission to permanently close the adjacent street (78th Street).
When combined with the purchase of the Garden School lot, the existing parkland will almost double in size.