By Gina Martinez
Bowne Park’s tree house-inspired playground is officially open.
Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, City Councilman Paul Vallone (D-Bayside) and Queens Parks Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski cut the ribbon on the newly renovated Bowne Park playground Tuesday. The $1.5 million project, which was funded by Katz and Vallone, re-opened earlier this month.
Katz, whose two sons played in the playground, said she brings them to parks across the borough and asks them how they can improve. She said the new playground will be a space the community can take pride in.
“While the park has always been an oasis for generations, it has had its share of neglect,” she said. “Now, thanks to the commitment of Council member Vallone and Parks, North Flushing will have a better park to better serve the growing families of North Flushing.”
Vallone, who also brought his son with him, said he was happy to see the renovations to a park he has taken his son to play in all his life.
“Bowne Park has always been a gem in North Flushing and these wonderfully inspired upgrades will ensure the park can be enjoyed by children and their families for years to come,” he said. “We now turn our sights to the refurbishment of Bowne Park’s iconic pond and I look forward to working with the community and Parks to ensure this second phase moves swiftly.”
The renovated playground has new tree house-inspired equipment for kids aged 2-5 and 6-12, and a spray shower with a turtle theme, paying homage to the park’s wildlife. Lewandowski said there were new painted games, swings and a full renovation of the basketball courts. New benches are set to be installed throughout the playground to allow visitors to take a seat and relax.
Lewandowski said the Bowne Park Field House is also nearing completion, with the comfort station already open to the public, and the interior operations room set to reopen this fall. The Field House was funded by former Queens Borough President Helen Marshall, with additional mayoral funding, and will include a complete interior and exterior renovation that will improve the functionality of the structure, while providing energy efficiency and full ADA compliance, Lewandowski said.
“The renovation of Bowne Park’s playground is imaginative and inspired, and the newly completed space is sure to be a hit with the countless young people who come here to play,” the commissioner said. “We are excited for this new chapter at Bowne Park and thankful to our local elected officials for investing in this treasured space.”
Reach Gina Martinez by e-mail at gmart