Mayor Bill de Blasio visited a Flushing park on Tuesday to announce that the city will invest in revitalizing underfunded parks across Queens and New York City.
“It’s a place that needs a lot of support,” de Blasio said about Bowne Playground, where he made the announcement. “It’s been decades of disinvestment in our parks. There’s not much greenery here, as you can see.”
The administration identified 215 parks across the city that each received less than $250,000 in the last two decades.
According to de Blasio, this level of funding doesn’t allow the Parks Department to repair the “wear and tear” of parks such as Bowne Playground. In the first phase of the administration’s attempt to fix up these parks, they aim to invest more than $130 million to rebuild 35 small community parks.
While this initiative will be focusing on 35 parks, including Queens’ Bowne Playground, Astoria Heights Playground, Corona Mac Park, Grassmere Playground, Rockaway Community Park /Conch Playground and Van Alst Playground, the administration wants to eventually treat all of the 215 parks that are underfunded to some green. Queens alone has more than 50 parks that are underfunded.
Bowne Playground will be one of the parks to receive funding for expanded recreational programming and increased maintenance. De Blasio also expressed a desire to have less concrete and more trees and grass.
“This park is an example of why we’re doing this,” de Blasio said, citing the neighborhood’s high population and few public spaces.
“Parks are so many things to us,” he said. “It’s truly a necessity in urban environments.”
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