By Naeisha Rose
The Pat Williams Playground in Queens Village, which is named after a local community activist who died in 1990, held a ribbon cutting last week after receiving a nine-month, $900,000 face-lift.
Williams was involved in various community organizations in the area, including the Concerned Citizens for a Safe Queens Village and the 105th Precinct Community Council, according to the city’s Department of Parks & Recreation.
She used her ties with both organizations to work with the Queens District Attorney’s Office to combat drug-dealing in the region. She also drove fund-raising, bought equipment and organized events for the community and parks in Queens Village.
In attendance at the 0.53-acre park, located at Hempstead Avenue between 225th Street and 224th Street on Cross Island Parkway, were Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver, Councilman Daneek Miller (D-St. Albans), and state Sen. Leroy Comrie (D-St. Albans). Comrie thanked Queens Park Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski, who was at the 2016 groundbreaking.
“For just under a million dollars, Pat Williams Playground has been reconstructed from top to bottom,” Silver said. “New trees and benches surround two play areas, a swing set, a reconstructed basketball court, and fitness equipment for adults. We’re proud to have created a space that all members of the community can now enjoy, and we are sure that Pat Williams would be pleased.”
Miller shared the same sentiments.
“This long-overdue project is now a great new space for our youth and adults who do not have any other park in the immediate area to exercise or play in,” Miller said. “With the safety improvements, new basketball courts, and fitness equipment, it will give back to the community just like Pat Williams did.”
The project was funded by the City Council and the mayor’s office and began construction in August 2016. It was finished two months early, in May 2017. The Council provided $730,000 for the project and Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office put forth an additional $160,000, according to NYC Parks.
Sen. Comrie credited the mayor, and expressed his satisfaction with the project.
“It was less than a year ago that I stood with Borough Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski, Council member Miller, and my colleagues in the community as we broke ground on this exciting project,” he said. “I commend Mayor de Blasio and NYC Parks for the speedy transformation of this space into a state-of-the-art park for the Queens Village community.”
Reach reporter Naeisha Rose by e-mail at nrose