Astoria Park is on track to receive $30 million worth of upgrades as part of the mayor’s Anchor Parks program and some of those improvements have been announced by the Parks Department.
On Jan. 25, Astoria residents were invited to a “Report Back” meeting by the agency to discuss the proposed solutions to comments they heard at a November meeting to garner feedback. More than 150 residents attended the meeting at Bohemian Hall, according to Meghan Lalor, spokesperson for the Parks Department.
As part of the city’s new Anchor Parks initiative, five parks will receive money to initiate upgrades like new soccer fields, comfort stations, running tracks and hiking trails. More than 75,000 New Yorkers live within walking distance of each anchor park and they were chosen based on “historical under investment, high surrounding population and potential for park development,” the mayor’s office said.
Six main projects were identified including improvements to the track and field, the reconstruction of Charybdis Playground, adding more gathering spaces, lighting, green infrastructure such as rain gardens and new programming.
The first phase is in the process of being designed, according to the Parks Department. The current soccer field will be replaced by a 180-by-360-foot synthetic turf soccer field surrounded by a newly reconstructed 400-meter running track. Additionally, the space will include adult fitness equipment, drinking fountains, bottle fillers and misting posts and a new seating area with bleachers.
Community Board 1 will see a preliminary plan for the soccer and track field and a conceptual master plan in March.
For other projects, such as the reconstruction of Charybdis Playground, additional scoping and input sessions will take place before the Parks Department creates any designs.
The playground made headlines in early 2016 when city workers discovered in spring 2015 that sewage from the playground and Astoria pool bathrooms had been seeping into the East River since the 1930s.