A Woodside park named after American infantrymen who served in World War I will be getting a $750,000 renovation with money from the recently announced city budget.
Doughboy Park, which is bounded by Woodside Avenue, 52nd Street and 39th Road, is a 1.71-acre park with a memorial statue and plaza dedicated to those who served, including 34 people who lived or worked in Woodside who lost their lives on 9/11.
The money will help revitalize the memorial statue, which depicts a World War I-era infantryman or “doughboy” with a bandage. Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, surrounded by war veterans, announced the makeover on June 14 and added that the improvements would come on the heels of the 100th Anniversary of the end of World War 1.
Korean War Veteran Ed Bergendahl, veterans from the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 32 in Queens and Catholic War Veterans Post #187 were also in attendance.
“Doughboy Park is a sacred place in the heart of Woodside to honor the sacrifice of our brave service men and women who fought on the front lines of war to protect our freedom,” he said. “As we approach the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I next November, we must honor our duty and responsibility to maintain the dignity of this sacred ground. This is a victory for our veterans and for all who will enjoy the added beauty and amenities of this great park right here in Woodside.”
The park was officially dedicated in 1923 and has been through several renovations. A restoration of the statue occurred in 1990, and the plaza saw new benches, fences and greenery in 2001.
On the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, a memorial plaque was dedicated to 34 people from the neighborhood who lost their lives.