Now more New Yorkers than ever can enjoy a summer afternoon in the park.
Just in time for bright skies and the July 4 holiday, 69 schoolyards that have been converted to playgrounds in off-hours opened to the public June 2 as part of an initiative by Mayor Michael Bloomberg to have every New Yorker living within 10 minutes of a park or playground.
“To make this goal a reality, we’re renovating and opening 290 school playgrounds, constructing eight new regional parks, completing bike lanes, lighting ball fields, turfing asphalt fields, expanding the greenway network, and opening up the waterfront to the public in every corner of the city,” Bloomberg said.
Seven of the 69 playgrounds are located in Queens in Forest Hills, East Elmhurst, Maspeth, Woodhaven and Richmond Hill. Eighty-one additional parks are slated to open in Queens by January 2010, as are others throughout the city in neighborhoods lacking open space. The playgrounds will be accessible from 8 a.m. until dusk.
The Bloomberg administration has invested $111 million in the Schoolyards to Playgrounds Initiative as part of its PlaNYC program, which has invested $1.2 billion in the city’s parks and open spaces.
The seven schoolyards converted into playgrounds in Queens are: