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Bowne playground to undergo revamp

By Madina Toure

The Bowne Playground located adjacent to PS 20 in Flushing is undergoing a renovation to update the park’s facilities for children and adults alike.

The park consists of a seating area to the north, a multi-purpose asphalt field used during recess by the school in the center, a comfort station to the south surrounded by 2- to 5-year-old play zones and 5- to 12-year-old playground, a handball court and a school garden.

The park is surrounded by 12-foot or 16-foot high fencing, which the city Parks Department plans to replace with a 4-foot high iron-wrought fence. There are also outdated concrete pavement and benches in the sitting area.

Community Board 7 voted to approve the project for 1.28 acres, which will cost $3.43 million, at its monthly board meeting at Union Plaza Care Center at 33-23 Union St. in Flushing Monday night.

“You can see that active recreation is high on the list and then after that was improving the passive recreation and then also the existing site amenities,” said Misty March, a landscape architect at Hargreaves Associates, who is working on the project.

Active recreation will consist of improving the play equipment, the spray showers, swings and adding adult fitness, but will keep everything that exists, including the basketball and handball courts.

Passive recreation will consist of improving the green space and adding performance.

Existing drinking fountains, rest rooms and lighting will be improved, along with upgrading ADA access to the existing comfort station.

A new corner entrance will be added. The entrance west of the comfort station will be moved eastward to create a more direct route from one side of the play area to the other.

The project will also include the addition of game tables and adult fitness to the north, reducing the multi-purpose courts, a performance space and moving the play area to one side of the comfort station. The handball court and the garden will remain in the park.

Most of the trees are in good condition, Parks said, with the exception of one tree and a stump. The agency plans to keep a large oak tree and a weeping beech next to the comfort station.

Green space will be added around the park’s perimeter. Parks is currently working with the city Department of Environmental Protection to collect stormwater from the site.

The permeable surface area of the park has been “over-doubled” to facilitate the collection of stormwater

Board members raised concerns about children roller-blading in the park and ADA accessibility.

Joanne Amagrande-Savarese, chief of staff to the Queens Parks commissioner, said the project’s goal is to improve appearance and accessibility.

“What we’re trying to do right now is make our parks more inviting and accessible,” Amagrande-Savarese said.

Officials expect to finalize the design and begin the procurement phase in August.

Reach reporter Madina Toure by e-mail at mtoure@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4566.

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