By Bill Parry
A Corona park has been renovated and reopened a full four months ahead of schedule, according to the city Parks Department. The $2 million upgrade of Hinton Park, funded entirely by City Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras-Copeland (D-East Elmhurst), focused primarily on the southern section of the park, where a volleyball court, adult fitness equipment, game tables and drinking fountains were installed.
“I am so pleased that these improvements to Hinton Park are complete and open to the public,” Ferreras-Copeland said at a ribbon-cutting last Friday. “These changes will encourage more to use what is already a popular park, specifically encouraging our community to do physical exercise and remain healthy. They are a result of a community visioning process. I look forward to volleyball games, early morning workouts and families enjoying the new and improved greenspace.”
The main section of Hinton Park lies across the street from PS 134, the Louis Armstrong School at 37th Avenue and 113th Street. It contains two large open play areas and two baseball diamonds. It last received a renovation in 1999.
“NYC Parks is extremely proud to open Hinton Park significantly earlier than expected, so that members of the community can enjoy the space during the last few weeks of summer,” Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver said. “New features include a volleyball court, which will surely be used by the many Ecua-volley players in the area, and four new hills, which have been created to provide views of the entire landscape.”
Ecua-volley is the Ecuadorian style of volleyball played with three players on a side, a higher net and a soccer ball. It spread to Colombia and to immigrant communities in the United States.
The park’s redesign included the creation of the four hills on the formerly flat site with grass swales and rain gardens that capture and absorb stormwater. A seating area on the park’s northern end was also upgraded with more plantings and decorative World’s Fair benches. Shade and flowering trees were planted along the paths in and around the seating area.
“This is great news for Corona. It is great for our community that the new and renovated Hinton Park opened ahead of schedule,” state Sen. Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst) said. “Kids and neighbors will now, before summer ends, be able to enjoy the new and upgraded installations in a public space.”
Following the speaking program, Ferreras-Copeland hosted a free Back to School celebration for the community, including school supply giveaways, as well as free bike helmets and fitting.
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparr