2018-07-25 / Front Page

Transforming NYC Parks

Constantinides Helps Unveil Renovated Astoria Heights Park


(L. to r.): Denise Mattes, senior designer, NYC Parks Dept., Tara Deighan, DEP, Lynn Kennedy, Friends of Astoria Heights Park, Queens Parks Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski, NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP, Council Member Costa Constantinides, Vicky Morales Casella, director of community boards, and Florence Koulouris, Community Board 1 district manager. 
Photo Vinny DuPre (L. to r.): Denise Mattes, senior designer, NYC Parks Dept., Tara Deighan, DEP, Lynn Kennedy, Friends of Astoria Heights Park, Queens Parks Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski, NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP, Council Member Costa Constantinides, Vicky Morales Casella, director of community boards, and Florence Koulouris, Community Board 1 district manager. Photo Vinny DuPre On July 19 NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP, joined Council Member Costa Constantinides and Community Board 1 District Manager Florence Koulouris to cut the ribbon on the renovation of Astoria Heights Playground (30th Rd. and 45th to 46th Streets), including a full reconstruction of the comfort station. It is one of 10 parks in Queens that is receiving an investment through the Community Parks Initiative, NYC Parks’ plan for an equitable parks system. The project is funded with nearly $8 million total, and was the first major renovation to Astoria Heights Playground in more than 20 years.


Council Member Costa Constantinides and Community Board 1 District Manager Florence Koulouris at the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the renovation of Astoria Heights Playground. Council Member Costa Constantinides and Community Board 1 District Manager Florence Koulouris at the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the renovation of Astoria Heights Playground. “Astoria Heights Playground, like all of the Community Parks Initiative sites, was long overdue for an update so we’re grateful to be able to give this space the attention it deserves,” said Commissioner Silver. “Thanks to an incredible investment of $7.9 million, we’re here today opening a park for all generations to use and enjoy.”

“Astoria Heights Park has been a haven in our community,” which is why it was important that it evolve into a “21st century open space,” said Council Member Constantinides. “I am proud to have allocated $1.1 million to help Astoria Heights Park become on par with other city green spaces. This partnership with our mayor and Queens Borough President Melinda Katz ensures that for generations to come, Astoria families can now enjoy its sports courts, play equipment, picnic tables, and spray shower without having to venture too far.”

“DEP is proud to partner with NYC Parks through the Community Parks Initiative, which is transforming neighborhood parks in all five boroughs,” said DEP Commissioner Vincent Sapienza. “We have committed more than $50 million to this initiative to install new green infrastructure that will help to both capture stormwater, and beautify communities.”

Astoria Heights Playground now features new play equipment for kids and teens up to age 15, and a spray shower area. A new athletic field for tennis or volleyball is surrounded by an expanded walking track, and complements the existing handball and basketball courts. New pathways within the park and an accessible ramp make the space easier to navigate.

The design for this project was based on feedback gathered directly from community members, as well as administration and students from IS 10, which shares the space.

The playground project was funded with $2.2 million from Mayor de Blasio through the Community Parks Initiative and Parks Without Borders programs, $1.5 million from the Department of Environmental Protection as part of its larger commitment to the initiative, $1.1 million from Council Member Constantinides, and $1 million from Borough President Katz. A second project to reconstruct the comfort station was funded with $2.1 million from Mayor de Blasio. The total funding amount for both projects was $7.9 million.

The Community Parks Initiative (CPI), launched by Mayor de Blasio in October 2014, is NYC Parks’ first major step toward a more equitable park system.

Return to top

Copyright 1999-2018 The Service Advertising Group, Inc. All rights reserved.