By Bill Parry
Jackson Heights is so devoid of green parkland that an advocacy group called Queens Bike is advocating for bike lanes that would connect their neighborhood to parks in other communities in western Queens, such as East Elmhurst, Corona and Astoria. But now the city is about to combine three spaces in the heart of Jackson Heights, and you won’t need a bike to get there.
The city Parks Department was slated to unveil its design for the new Travers Park on 34th Avenue between 77th and 78th streets Saturday at 11:30 a.m.
The redesign will include Rory Staunton Field, the adjacent asphalt schoolyard, and 78th Street Plaza, a pedestrian plaza that was closed off to motor vehicles in 2012.
“Access to high quality parks and open spaces is extremely important in Jackson Heights, one of New York’s most densely populated neighborhoods,” Queens Parks Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski said. “We look forward to sharing the schematic design for Travers Park with community members this weekend and encourage everyone to come out, meet the designers of their new plaza, and get a sneak peak at what’s to come.”
The total renovation is expected in two years and to cost $5.5 million.
“Travers Park is a green treasure in our community,” state Sen. Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst) said. “This two-acre park is a favorite spot for our kids, families and neighbors and the planned renovation will provide us with a much deserved, state-of-the-art recreational facility for our enjoyment. Kids need these havens from everyday city life so they are able to play outdoors in a safe environment. Likewise, adults can take advantage of these green spaces, which allow them to enjoy the outdoors and engage with their community neighbors.”
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparr