2016-08-31 / Features

Astoria Park One Of Five Anchor Parks To Share $150M


The city will allocate $30 million to Astoria Park as part of the Mayor's Anchor Park program, in which one large park in each borough will receive major capital upgrades, like new soccer fields, comfort stations, running tracks and hiking trails. The city will allocate $30 million to Astoria Park as part of the Mayor's Anchor Park program, in which one large park in each borough will receive major capital upgrades, like new soccer fields, comfort stations, running tracks and hiking trails. Mayor Bill de Blasio, Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, and NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver announced on August 18 that the City will fund $150 million in major improvements at five large parks under the new Anchor Parks initiative. More than 750,000 New Yorkers live within walking distance of the five Anchor Parks, and the new investment will fuel the kind of major amenities needed more in these bigger parks, like new soccer fields, comfort stations, running tracks and hiking trails.

The Mayor and Speaker made the announcement at Saint Mary’s Park in the South Bronx, and were joined by Council Members from the four other anchor parks: Astoria Park, Highbridge Park in Manhattan, Betsy Head Park in Brooklyn and Freshkills Park on Staten Island.

“New Yorkers deserve to have the greatest parks in the world steps from their homes. That’s why our administration is focused on park equity, which brings fair access to and development of parks across the city. The Anchor Parks program, joined with the Community Parks Initiative and Parks Without Borders, marks another major step in advancing park equity for all New Yorkers,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Each of the Anchor Parks is slated for $30 million in major improvements. Each was selected based on historical underinvestment, high surrounding population and potential for park development. The Parks Department will commence community outreach beginning this fall to determine which improvements to pursue in each park.

These improvements to larger parks compliment the de Blasio Administration’s Community Parks Initiative, which has targeted more than 60 small neighborhood parks with improvements like new playground equipment, benches, plantings and resurfaced playing courts.

“Astoria Park offers numerous valuable recreational opportunities for Queens residents and will be even better place to visit, thanks to the $30 million in major improvements it will receive under the Anchor Parks program,” said Queens Borough President Melinda Katz. “Mayor de Blasio, Council Speaker Mark-Viverito and NYC Parks, led by Commissioner Silver, deserve to be commended for spearheading this important program, which will greatly benefit park visitors in all five boroughs.”

Council Member Costa Constantinides said, “This large investment in Astoria Park, and in four other parks citywide, will go a long way towards improving our vital greenspace. The upgraded playgrounds, fields, and open areas will reinforce what we already know – Astoria Park has long been the jewel of our neighborhood. Since its inception over 100 years ago, families from across the community have enjoyed this park throughout the year. With these large-scale capital improvements, Astoria Park will have assets and amenities to match its use. I look forward to working with the Parks Department and community stakeholders as these improvements are planned. I thank Mayor de Blasio and Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver for their bold vision and transformative action to improve our park.”

“Astoria Park is a family-friendly, historic green space that is beloved by our entire community. Continuing to preserve our parks is essential to our neighborhood’s quality of life, and I look forward to seeing the new infrastructure this great investment will bring forward,” said state Senator Michael Gianaris.

“Astoria Park is a jewel of our city and it gives the people of Western Queens a necessary respite, surrounded by nature, from the hustle and bustle of city life. As a life-long Astorian raising my own daughter in the neighborhood, I’m delighted that the park is getting the resources it deserves. This will make a huge difference, not only in the beauty of the park, but also its recreational opportunities,” said Assembly Member Aravella Simotas.

“Astoria Park is the crown jewel of our community and we are ecstatic that this Mayor recognizes the importance of the park’s capital needs. We are greatly appreciative for the funds being provided as part of the Anchor Parks initiative,” said Florence Koulouris, District Manager for Queens Community Board 1.

“Hooray! Astoria Park Alliance celebrates the designation of Astoria Park as an Anchor Park. This significant capital investment will breathe new life into our beloved shared space, and will provide Astoria Park users a wonderful public land where we can continue to build community for generations to come,” said Martha Lopez-Gilpin, Chair of the Astoria Park Alliance.

“Astoria Park is an oasis in Western Queens used by families and people of all ages and this investment will help restore the Park to its former glory,” said Marie Torniali, Executive Director of the Central Astoria Local Development Coalition.

For more information about all the parks, visit www1.nyc.gov/office-of-the-mayor/news/685-16/mayor-de-blasio-councilspeaker-mark-viverito-parks-commissioner silver-150-million-in

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