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CB 9 hopes to secure funds for Forest Park renovation

By Alex Davidson

Mary Ann Carey said in a phone interview Monday morning that she and members of the board submitted a top-10 list of ranked projects to be funded in the district, which includes the communities of Woodhaven, Richmond Hill and Ozone Park. On that list was Mary Whalen playground, which she said needs a host of repairs.

“We gave our priorities to the borough president,” Carey said. “We are just hoping that she will give the funding to restore it.”

Carey said the playground and memorial, which was created in honor of former Community Board 9 member and Woodhaven civic leader Mary Whalen, needs a new drinking fountain, new play equipment, new benches, better landscaping and improved safety ground cover to ensure children do not hurt themselves if they fall.

The memorial park, which is just off Forest Parkway at Park Lane South, was built several years ago but has since fallen into disrepair, Carey said. Over the years, however, other playgrounds near the memorial have been restored, including Jackson Playground and Jackson Memorial, she said.

“There are a number of playgrounds in the park that have been restored,” Carey said. “But this one really needs it (restoring),” she said of Mary Whalen playground.

Forest Park has a number of attractions that complement its playgrounds including the historic Forest Park Carousel and the band shell, where concerts and other large outdoor events take place.

The borough president recently pledged needed funds to restore Glendale's Victory Field, which is across the street from Forest Park. The improvements there will include a multi-use turf that can accommodate a host of different sports as well as new bleachers and perimeter fencing.

Reach reporter Alex Davidson by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or by calling 718-229-0300, Ext. 156.

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