New fun at Juniper Valley Park

Some western Queens children can now leap like frogs or relax as turtles do with the new wetland habitat-themed design and added play space in Juniper Valley Park, thanks to Councilmember Elizabeth Crowley and Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

“The new playground in Juniper Valley Park is a great addition to one of the best parks in the City,” said Crowley. “I will continue to work with the community and the Parks Department to bring more improvements to this park.”

Crowley’s donation of $783,000 and Bloomberg’s $183,000 brought together nearly $1 million in funding to the Middle Village playground.

Along with New York City Department of Parks and Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe, Community Board 5 District Manager Gary Giordano and teachers and children from the Learning Tree, Crowley helped cut the ribbon to the revamped Juniper South Playground on Monday, April 19.

Kids can now enjoy new features such as a refreshing spray shower with a lily pad in the pavement and a frog statue to reflect the everglades. There are also new trees, decorative grasses, and a colorfully-painted turtle game that enhances the natural theme for tots. Bucket and flat-seated swings are also new additions.

“We are pleased to open Juniper South Playground just in time for summer,” said Benepe. “The frog and spray shower pay tribute to Juniper Valley Park’s past and provide wonderful opportunities for swamp-themed fun and imagination.”

The new design was inspired from the park’s early history as marshland. Previously known as the Juniper Valley Swamp, which covered almost 100 acres, the bog was used as a farm, cemetery, a source for peat moss, and even a garbage dump before it was filled in 1915 and transformed into the play haven it is today.

Benepe thanked Bloomberg and the City Council for “recognizing the importance of playgrounds for New York City families and allocating the funds necessary” for Juniper Playground.

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