By Mark Hallum
The city Parks Department brought out the golden shovels for a ground breaking ceremony for $2 million worth of improvements at Juniper Valley Park Dec. 12 with elected officials.
The installation of a spray shower in the Juniper North Playground and new accessibility features for people with disabilities officially started in October and will serve the community for years to come, according to City Councilman Robert Holden and Assemblyman Brian Barnwell.
“Temperatures might be in the 30s today, but that won’t stop us from celebrating a brand new spray shower coming to Juniper Valley Park!” Parks Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski said. “Once complete, this project will bring an interactive spray shower zone that kids of all ages can enjoy. The entry to the spray shower zone will also be opened up so that it’s accessible for people in wheelchairs, or parents bringing their little ones in strollers.”
Different shades of concrete will mark different age range zones in the spray area, which will be open year-around according Parks. New drainage in the spray area will prevent buildup of standing water.
The entrances to the park will also be put at grade and widened to make the green space fully accessible to both wheelchairs and strollers.
“Juniper Valley Park is a multi-generational park and a beloved part of the neighborhood, especially its shuffleboard and bocce courts, tracks, ballfields and playground,” Queens Borough President Melinda Katz said. “The investment of public funds to improve the accessibility and play area of Juniper Valley Park will be enjoyed by the growing families of Middle Village.”
According to the Parks Department, the Brennan Field running track near 71st Street and Lutheran Avenue will be reconstructed in the summer of 2020 through $4.6 million in procurement from the City Council.
“Juniper Valley Park is and has been for many years the crown jewel park of the district,” City Councilman Robert Holden said. “This $2 million investment fixes one of the nagging problems we’ve had at the park for decades. The spray shower will be a beautiful addition to a great park.”
Reach reporter Mark Hallum by e-mail at mhall