By Naeisha Rose
Grassmere Playground in Far Rockaway was one of five parks in the city Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver’s five borough relay ribbon-cutting ceremony last week.
The Far Rockaway park — located between Grassmere Terrace and Briar Place — received a $3.3 million infusion in updates and storm drainage from the Parks Department and the Department of Environmental Protection.
The renovation of the park was part of the city’s $318 million Community Park Initiative, a green infrastructure and resiliency effort project.
In total $24 million was spent on Grassmere, Arrochar Playground in Staten Island, Lyons Square Playground in the Bronx, Hilltop Playground in Brooklyn and Martin Luther King, Jr. Park in Manhattan.
“In 2014 we launched the Community Parks Initiative with a commitment to bring world-class neighborhood parks to all New Yorkers,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said at the March 20 ceremony. “The five completely rebuilt parks we opened today illustrate the breadth and impact of CPI, which has already impacted more than one million children through physical park improvements, expanded programming, and enhanced community partnerships.”
Grassmere received two new play areas for children ages 2-5 and 5-12, a 100-meter track, a junior soccer field, educational wooded trail, and an outdoor classroom.
A junior basketball court, adult fitness equipment, a children’s water play area, and improved planting, seating, and lighting fixtures were also added.
Of the $3.3 million secured for the playground’s face-lift, $427,000 was from the DEP for storm water capture.
Not only did the park area itself receive a renovation, but also the entrance and edges of Grassmere were redesigned by Parks Without Borders, a program by the Parks Department to make entries easier to find and more welcoming.
“This beachfront community has been severely underserved by green space for decades, forcing seniors and children to travel dozens of blocks to find a beautiful and safe open space,” said Councilman Donovan Richards (D-Far Rockaway). “This brand new park will surely bring many educational and entertainment opportunities for families and schools throughout the peninsula.”
Reach reporter Naeisha Rose by e-mail at nrose