On March 13, 2022, Mayor Eric Adams announced that 104 park projects that were previously paused due to the pandemic will break ground this spring. The shift marks a 142 percent increase in parks construction projects over 2021.
The projects will be over $417 million in investments in the City’s parks. Improvements will include sustainability features like rain gardens, new trees, LED lighting, on-site storm water capture and using recycled materials at over 86 percent of the projects. Another 62 percent of the projects are in underserved neighborhoods identified by the Task Force on Racial Inclusion and Equity. Upgrades will also make many parks more accessible.
The projects are expected to take 12 to 18 months to complete, to allow New Yorkers to enjoy many of these completed projects by summer 2023. To follow the status of current Parks projects, check out the Department’s capital project tracker here.
The announcement was made at the groundbreaking for Saratoga Park Playground located between Brownsville and Bedford-Stuyvesant in Brooklyn. It is the second largest park in the neighborhood and includes a memorial for community members who died in service in World War I. The Saratoga Park Playground is now under renovation, and will receive new play equipment including a spray shower, swings, a tot play area, ground games, and the restoration of the lawn and new lighting. The Saratoga Park Playground project is expected to be finished by spring 2023. The project will cost $2.18 million and is funded by the City Council.
Mayor Adams stated, “New York City’s parks aren’t luxuries, but necessities — playing a critical role building community and nurturing our physical, mental, and emotional health. Parks can be the great equalizers, which is why every New Yorker, regardless of zip code or color, deserves access to a park. This $417 million investment to revitalize over 100 parks, playgrounds, and greenspaces is a major milestone in our recovery that will pay dividends for generations to come.”
Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue stated, “The pandemic lockdown proved just how important parks and open spaces are to all New Yorkers and we couldn’t be happier to move forward on more than $417 million in capital projects that update, improve, and rethink our parks and playgrounds for the community members who rely on them. There’s no better place to make this announcement than Saratoga Park in Brooklyn, where we are completely upgrading a neighborhood playground that hasn’t seen major improvements in more than 20 years.”
By: Veronica Rose (Veronica is the CityLaw fellow and a New York Law School graduate, Class of 2018.)