By Gina Martinez
Bowne Park playground is getting a $1.5 million makeover.
Borough President Melinda Katz was joined by City Councilman Paul Vallone (D-Bayside), Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver and members of Community Board 7 Oct. 20 to break ground on the reconstruction of the Flushing playground.
The new play area will feature treehouse-inspired climbing equipment for kids and an expanded spray shower with a turtle theme—a tribute to the park’s lake, which is filled with turtles. The playground will also have painted games like tic tac toe and hopscotch, a new swing set, a fully renovated basketball court and new benches. The project received $500,000 in funding from Vallone and $1 million from Katz. Construction is expected to be completed by next fall.
“To have an outstanding city, you’ve got to start with great public spaces,” Silver said. “Bowne Park is an 11-acre oasis in the middle of Flushing, where people come to enjoy nature, spend time with their families, and connect with their neighbors. We’re proud to bring new play equipment here that will evoke the park’s natural wonders and challenge the imaginations of our neighborhood kids.”
The playground is not the only part of Bowne Park getting upgrades. The comfort station within the park is also being reconstructed and a new filtration system for the nearby pond nearby is in the design phase, according to the Parks Department.
“It was great to stand with our borough president, the Parks Department and our community as we broke ground and took one step closer towards the bright future for this wonderful park,” Vallone said. “Bowne Park has always been a gem in North Flushing and these wonderfully inspired upgrades will be enjoyed by children and their families for years to come. I look forward to working with the community and the Parks Department to ensure this project and its continued development moves swiftly.”
Borough President Katz praised Vallone for being on top of all the playgrounds, parks and schools in his district. She also commended residents who pushed for renovations and upgrades in their neighborhood. Katz said her dedication to playgrounds started because of her two young children, who love to take part in the fun at playgrounds all over Queens.
“It has taught me which parks are needing attention throughout the whole borough,” she said. “Bowne Park needed that attention. We needed a place where young toddlers are safe, that mothers and guardians who bring the kids know that they can let them run free in a finite area. That is just so important in order to socialize and part of learning at that age is socializing. So to create those environments for kids is really an honor that the councilman and I are able to do that.”
Reach Gina Martinez by e-mail at gmart