By Bill Parry
The children are back in droves at the Lance Corporal Thomas P. Noonan Playground in Sunnyside after the city Parks Department completed a $2 million renovation of the park.
The revamped park, located at Greenpoint Avenue and 43rd Street, was reopened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday, two months ahead of schedule, and now features two children’s play areas, new climbing areas, new swings new safety surfaces, a new spray shower, and area for toddlers and shrubbery.
“The improvements to Noonan Playground are a perfect example of our community coming together and developing a project that all residents can enjoy,” City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) said. “With the $2 million I allocated to the renovations of the park we have enhanced this popular community hub for residents of Sunnyside and Woodside. Between new plantings, additional play equipment, a new and improved rainbow sprinkler as well as a one-of-a-kind memorial for our local veterans we have solidified Noonan Playground as one of the borough’s top destinations to spend an afternoon with the family.”
City Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver was on hand for the ceremony, and said, “We are thrilled to cut the ribbon today on a new and improved Noonan Playground. Just in time for spring. When the sun comes out in Sunnyside, this is sure to be a popular destination.”
The playground was closed for the renovation in May 2014 after the children of PS 199 called attention to the state of disrepair at the popular park. Their design proposals were incorporated into the new renovations.
As part of the project, additional planted areas have been created within the playground. Site drainage and lighting have also been improved, the main entrance was reconstructed and new bike racks, benches, paving and fencing were installed.
“I am thrilled that Sunnysiders will get to enjoy the new and improved Thomas P. Noonan playground ahead of schedule, and just in time for spring,” state Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria) said. “Improvements at the playground are more than just fun and games.”
A new granite slab was added to the base of the flagpole as a monument to late Sunnyside Vietnam war hero Lance Corporal Thomas P. Noonan. The park was named for the U.S. Marine rifleman killed while rescuing wounded soldiers while under attack in 1969. Noonan was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his actions.
“I met and knew Corporal Noonan’s family and it is only fitting that this park be re-dedicated for a great individual who gave the ultimate sacrifice to protect our country and our way of life,” state Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan (Ridgewood) said. “The sacrifice that Corporal Noonan and his family made for this country is a great example for this community.”
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparr