Councilman Barry Grodenchik and state Senator John Liu joined Queens Borough Parks Commissioner Michael Dockett and Borough President Melinda Katz on May 10 to celebrate the reconstructed performance space and picnic area in Fresh Meadows’ Cunningham Park with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
“Cunningham Park offers everything from ballfields to biking paths,” said Dockett. “We’re thrilled to have upgraded this picnic area, so that now visitors can enjoy a better space to grab a bite in-between activities, or catch a puppet show at our new performance space. Many thanks to Borough President Katz and Council member Grodenchik for their support of this treasured green space in eastern Queens.”
The $2.6 million dollar project reconstructed the picnic area in Cunningham Park with new barbecue grills, accessible picnic tables, paving, landscaping and plantings to enhance the area.
The walking oval, which was previously deteriorated, has been fully reconstructed with new fitness equipment and mile markers along the pathway. Several staircases were also reconstructed for safe access. The performance space, sometimes used as an outdoor classroom, was updated to be an area of intimate performances and a variety of outdoor activities.
The project was funded by allocations from the City Council ($875,000); Katz ($1,175 million); and Mayor Bill de Blasio for a total of $2.6 million. Construction of the performance space and picnic area began in June 2017 and it was reopened to the public in September 2018.
Grodenchik thanked Katz and de Blasio for their contribution to the projects at the park.
“It is a great pleasure to join Queens Borough Melinda Katz, state Senator John Liu, and Queens Parks Commissioner Michael Dockett to cut the ribbon on the performance space and reconstructed picnic area in Cunningham Park,” said Grodenchik. “These long-awaited amenities only enhance what is already a world-class park.”
Katz said the improvements at Cunningham Park will greatly enhance the experience of park visitors.
“The reconstructed picnic area, performance space and walking oval will make Cunningham Park an even more attractive place for families to see a show, enjoy a picnic and get some exercise in the fresh air,” said Katz.
Liu said he hopes this will be the first of many groundbreaking and ribbon-cutting celebrations to come in northeastern Queens parks.