By Mark Hallum
Funding has been secured to renovate a playground adjacent to Cunningham Park in Oakland Gardens, and according to Borough President Melinda Katz and Councilman Barry Grodenchik (D-Bayside), the improvements will raise the conditions of the playground to the standard of the rest of the park, known for its well-groomed lawns.
Redwood Playground at 196-10 Union Tpke. will get $1.7 million from the city’s budget for new playground equipment, improved landscaping and an ADA-compliant ramp.
“The Redwood playground is in desperate need of a face-lift,” Grodenchik said. “The new playground design is going to be spectacular, as all of our children deserve the best.”
Katz recognized Cunningham park as one of the better parks in Queens serving many families in the surrounding areas of Oakland Gardens and Fresh Meadows.
“Cunningham Park is one of the jewels of our borough’s park system, with Redwood Playground an important part of it,” Katz said. “The transformation of Redwood Playground will result in a beautiful, accessible and interactive play space for the families of Queens.”
Queens Borough Parks Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski expressed the importance of people with disabilities being able to access the playground via an ADA-accessible ramp.
“With the help of $1.7 million in funding from the borough president and the City Council, Parks was proud to share a design to renovate and upgrade the children’s play areas at Redwood Playground,” Lewandowski said. “The improvements will also ensure that people of all abilities can navigate the playground seamlessly.”
Redwood Playground has fallen behind on upkeep compared to the rest of the park, according to Community Board 8 Chairwoman Martha Taylor, who remarked at the contrast to the clean and well-taken-care-of Cunningham Park.
“I am delighted that Borough President Melinda Katz and Council Member Barry Grodenchik are funding this much-needed improvement to bring Redwood Playground to the same wonderful condition that Cunningham Park is in,” Taylor said. “I look forward to the day when children will have a first-rate playground experience.”
On Tuesday, Councilman Paul Vallone (D-Bayside) and the city Parks Department celebrated $1.6 million renovations to Little Bay Park’s soccer fields, underneath the Throgs Neck Bridge.
Construction on Redwood Playground is scheduled to begin in the Spring of 2018.
Reach reporter Mark Hallum by e-mail at mhall