a New Look for Evergreen Park

Plans For New Play Area Unveiled In Glendale

Plans for a renovation to a portion of Evergreen Park were unveiled at a special meeting of Community Board 5′s Parks Services Committee last Monday, Sept. 24 at nearby P.S. 68 in Glendale.

The Parks Department’s Steve Whitesell displays plans for a renovation of a portion of Evergreen Park in Glendale at a special meeting of Board 5’s Parks Committee on Monday, Sept. 24 at nearby P.S. 68.

According to the Parks Department’s Steve Whitesell, the renovations will target four-tenths of an acre of the park at a cost of $1 million, which was allocated by City Council Member Elizabeth Crowley. The portion of Evergreen Park (not to be confused with Evergreen Playground in Brooklyn) to be renovated, at 60th Place between 75th and St. Felix avenues currently contains a wading pool and shuffleball and bocce courts.

The plan is to reconfigure the seating and remove the bocce and shuffleball courts as well as the pool. Replacing the pool will be two new water play areas-one for tots and one for older children- that will featuring sprinklers that will activate upon touching a metal “flower” as well as other pieces of play equipment.

A new play area for little children will be constructed in the northeast corner of the area, featuring elements inspired by the original kindergarten class in Germany in the 1830s.

“What was revolutionary about the idea was some things that we take for granted now, such as the idea of play as an educational experience,” Whitesell noted, adding that the classes also stressed “gardening as an educational activity.”

Several types of plantings will shade the tot play area, and “World’s Fair”-style benches, and steel fencing of various sizes will dot the landscape, as well as two water fountains. A tot swing area will also be created on the southeast side of the area, according to Whitesell.

Construction of the area will start next summer and take one year, Whitesell stated.

Whitesell joined Steve Fiedler of Board 5’s Parks Committee and City Council Member Elizabeth Crowley in allaying concerns that older children and seniors aren’t being addressed in the plan, with Fielder pointing out that other portions of the park will also be renovated in future phases.

The comfort station at the site may also be renovated in a future phase.

“I’ve been looking at this as Phase I,” Crowley stated. “It is my hope, it is my vision, to see the entire park renovated in a few years.”

Several residents also had concerns about lighting in the park. Six lightpoles currently on the site will remain, according to Whitesell, ala though some may be moved to different positions.

Adding spotlights would add “significant” cost to the project, but Whitesell told Fielder that he would see if the lightpoles can be adapted so that spotlights can be added later if necessary. LED lighting, proposed by Board 5’s Donald Passantino, were not planned but Whitesell said he would explore the possibility.

Also, Whitesell addressed concerns that the construction site would be open by telling P.S. 68 Principal Anne Marie Scalfaro that the site would be enclosed by an eight-foot fence, protecting younger students. The sidewalk would remain clear for pupils traveling to and from the school.

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