Playground in LIC reborn for $1.27M

By Bill Parry

The renovation of Murray Playground in Long Island City is complete.

The eastern section of the park is now reopened following a $1.275 million makeover that includes a new performance area and greenspace.

“It was a worthy investment,” Borough President Melinda Katz said. “These two additions will make Murray Playground an even more attractive recreational area and help improve the quality of life of everyone who lives in the vibrant community of Long Island City.”

The city Parks Department began construction of the final phase last summer. The performance area includes a stage with tiered seating, new paving stones and benches, more trees and shrubs. The project includes a new water source for the existing dog run and a community garden with new fencing.

“Great parks equals great neighborhoods,” City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) said. “Local artists and performers who live in LIC now have a one-of-a-kind venue to showcase their work. These new enhancements will give thousands on Long Island City residents the ability to enjoy outdoor performances in their very own neighborhood.”

The park stretched from 11th to 21st streets between 45th Avenue and 45th Road, where Hunters Point meets the Court Square section.

In Astoria, City Councilman Costa Constantinides (D-Astoria) has allocated $1.1 million for the full renovation of Astoria Heights Playground. The borough president’s office kicked in an extra half-million dollars for the project for necessary upgrades after strong lobbying from area residents.

“The Friends of Astoria Heights Playground is very strong and effective,” Constantinides said. “Anytime members of a group like that steps up and basically takes ownership of the park like they did, I think it’s tax dollars well spent.”

The park, at 30th Road between 45th and 46th streets, will be repaved and outdated playground equipment will be replaced.

“We’ll also be having gates installed to separate the big kids from the small kids,” Constantinides said.

The councilman arranged for $1 million in funding for improvements at Moser-Bulova Park in Jackson Heights.

“We’re taking out the bocce court because it’s in disrepair and nobody uses it anymore,” Constantinides said. “We’ll put in new play equipment for the kids and we’ll put in some adult fitness equipment, too, that seems to be popular these days.”

A new spray shower will also be installed at the park at 25th Avenue and 76th Street.

“We’ll see what else the Parks Department can come up with,” the councilman said.

Reach reporter Bill Parry at bparry@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4538.