By Bill Parry
A 2.5-acre park in the shadows of Woodside’s Big Six Towers complex will receive a $1.8 million renovation. Big Bush Park, in between 61st Street and the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, will be repaired and new playground equipment will be installed.
The project is funded with $1 million from Borough President Melinda Katz and $800,000 from City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside). Work is expected to begin next fall and be completed by 2017.
“With this funding we will change the face of this important community hub by making improvements that will expand the amount of green space throughout the park and introduce new play areas for children of all ages, as well as enhance existing space for seniors and adults to enjoy,” Van Bramer said. “Every great neighborhood deserves a great park and these much-needed improvements will give generations of local residents a perfect space to enjoy the outdoors right in the heart of Woodside.”
The BQE, Big Bush Park and Little Bush Park, on the other side of the Long Island Expressway, all share land on what was once Bush Street. Construction began in 1971 after Robert Moses decided the area of Woodside lacked adequate recreational facilities.
It was last upgraded in the early ’80s.
“Big Bush Park will undergo significant renovations to its playground, adult exercise equipment, game tables and more, all to be enjoyed by the growing families of Woodside,” Katz said. “The design plans for the Big Bush Park project were in no small part due to the comprehensive input from the community, and are a perfect example of how residents can have a significant impact on beautifying our neighborhoods.”
The community was actively involved in shaping this project, and the scope of renovations will directly address their requests for additional planting areas, activities for a variety of park users, play swings for small children, a new spray shower in a sunny location, a new drinking fountain, upgraded seating and game tables, adult exercise equipment, rejuvenated lighting and greenery. A new central circulation path will run north of the play areas from 64th Street to 61st Street, and an entry plaza off 61st Street will invite pedestrians to linger in the shade.
“NYC Parks has made it our mission to ensure that every neighborhood has access to high-quality parks, but we can’t do it alone,” Parks Queens Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski said. “Big Bush Park is a great example of community-led design in action, and we look forward to opening a new and improved space that reflects their vision.”
The renovation will include the planting of 40 trees.
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparr