Almeda Playground’s $8.1 million renovation have been completed as a part of the Community Parks Initiative to build a more equitable park system. On May 12, 2021, Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver announced the completion of the renovations to Almeda Playground, located in Rockaway, Queens. The playground is located on the southern half of the block bounded by Thursby Avenue to the north, Beach Channel Drive to the south, Beach 66th Street to the west and Beach 65th Street to the east. The playground was originally named P.S. 42 Playground and opened in 1965. The playground was later renamed as Almeda Playground, named after nearby Almeda Avenue.
Almeda Playground’s complete renovation included newly installed features and amenities. The playground now has a new more inclusive play area, an outdoor classroom, spray showers, a fitness area, ball courts, seating areas, and more. The area’s greenery was also improved with new plantings as per community request.
The project cost $8.1 million and was funded by Mayor Bill de Blasio as a part of the Community Parks Initiative. The Community Parks Initiative was launched by Mayor de Blasio in 2014 as the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation’s first major equity initiative. The program invests in smaller public parks within the city located in areas with higher-than-average poverty populations.
Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver stated, “Since its launch, the Community Parks Initiative has taken transformative steps towards creating a more accessible parks system for all New Yorkers. As Commissioner I’ve prioritized working to ensure that all New Yorkers have access to quality parks, and it’s outstanding to see these underused spaces transformed into community assets.”
Council Member Brooks-Powers stated, “As a mom myself, I understand firsthand how important it is for us to have a safe space for our children to exert energy, make new friends — all within the immediate community. The renovation of the Almeda Playground will offer families a park system for all.”
Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, Jr. stated, “Almeda Playground is a treasured community resource in Arverne, so I’m very pleased that this extensive and much-needed reconstruction of the playground has been completed. All children deserve access to first-class play space, and the Community Parks Initiative has succeeded in creating such a space here at Almeda Playground and at so many other parks throughout the Borough and City.”
By: Patrick McNeill (Patrick is the CityLaw intern and a New York Law School student, Class of 2022.)