On February 8, 2023, the Department of Parks and Recreation announced the ribbon-cutting of the newly renovated Gerard P. Dugan Playground in New Dorp, Staten Island. The playground is located in the middle of the block with Isernia Avenue to the north, Tysens Lane to the south, Mill Road to the west and Weed Avenue to the east. Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue was joined by Staten Island Borough President Vito Fossella, Council Member David Carr, community members, and students and representatives from the St. Charles School for the ribbon cutting.
The playground has brand new play equipment for children ages 2 to 5 and ages 5 to 12, features large and small swing sets, and new spray showers. New water utilities, ADA-accessible seating areas and game tables were also installed. New trees and shrubs were also planted to provide more shade at the center of the playground.
The parkland was acquired by the Parks Department in 1931. In 1974, the playground was renovated and named for Gerard P. Dugan, a Staten Island community activist and veteran. Dugan helped organize the Oakwood Beach Resident Committee. He served as President of the Oakwood Civic Association and Chairman of the Hurricane Protection Committee.
Dugan Playground was renovated again in 1997, when new plants, play equipment, paths and accessibility elements were installed. The newest renovation is the first major renovation to the playground since 1997.
The new $3.72 million renovations were provided by the Office of the Mayor and the City Council.
Parks Commissioner Donoghue stated, “These enhancements guarantee that Staten Islanders of all ages will be able to enjoy this beloved community playground for generations to come. Like our parks and beaches, playgrounds are vital public spaces for connecting with friends, building community, and staying fit. This renovation is just the latest example of our commitment as NYC Parks to providing safe, accessible public spaces in all five boroughs.”
Borough President Fossella stated, “I was pleased to join New York City Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue in cutting the ribbon on the beautifully renovated Dugan Playground. The playground has been a beloved mainstay in New Dorp since it opened in 1931. The brand-new features will ensure it remains a safe place for children to play and for the community to gather. It continues to serve as a wonderful tribute to its namesake, Gerard P. Dugan, a Marine Corps veteran who was a dedicated civic leader.”
Council Member David Carr stated, “The Gerard P. Dugan Playground has been a staple for our youth for nearly a century on Staten Island. Now that the second phase of the renovation is completed, the New Dorp and Oakwood communities and beyond will be able to enjoy this transformed park. I am proud to have worked on this project as Chief of Staff to Minority Leader Steven Matteo, who secured the funding for the project. Thank you to Steve as well as the Parks Department for this great project.”
By: Veronica Rose (Veronica is the CityLaw fellow and a New York Law School graduate, Class of 2018.)