City officials and community members on Wednesday marked the groundbreaking on new improvements to Flushing Meadows Corona Park through a new initiative that will revamp the park providing more open access for residents.
Parks without Borders (PWB) is a design concept that improves the areas where parks meet their neighborhoods — park entrances, edges, and spaces adjacent to parks. By extending parks into communities, opening sight lines, adjusting gates, and adding furnishings outside of parks’ traditional borders, PWB will improve New Yorkers’ access to quality parks.
NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver was joined by FAICP, Parks Chair of Community Board 4 Gregory Spock, and Flushing Meadows Park Conservancy President Jean Silva for the groundbreaking at the park.
Funding to remodel the park was provided by a $4.5 million allocation from Mayor Bill de Blasio.
“Flushing Meadows Corona Park is an incredible recreational resource for residents of Queens, and home to some of our city’s most recognizable landmarks,” said Silver. “Through Parks Without Borders, we are redesigning the Henry Hudson entrance where this park meets the neighborhood, and transforming it into a welcoming passageway for generations of visitors to enjoy.”
Nominated for PWB by the community, the $4.5 million Flushing Meadows Corona Park project will reconstruct the entrance of the park at 111th Street between 53rd and 56th avenues. Improvements will include a reconstructed central entrance plaza, new sidewalks, wider pedestrian routes, and an expanded planting area. The new, accessible Henry Hudson entrance will welcome visitors into the park and lead them directly to the Unisphere, a focal point of Flushing Meadows Corona Park.
The project is anticipated to be completed in spring 2020.
The Parks Without Borders initiative was announced in November 2015 with a call for community involvement. NYC Parks asked New Yorkers to nominate the sites that would benefit the most from a PWB improvement project. Utilizing an online survey and 37 conferences with citizens, the Parks Department received more than 6,000 nominations for 691 parks—approximately 30 percent of its parks. The eight selected showcase projects, sharing $40 million in funding from de Blasio, were revealed in May 2016; and an additional $10 million has been applied to another 40 capital projects in progress.
The other PWB showcase projects include: Fort Greene Park and Prospect Park (Brooklyn); Hugh Grant Circle / Virginia Park and Playground (Bronx); Jackie Robinson Park and Seward Park (Manhattan); Faber Park (Staten Island); and Flushing Meadows Corona Park (Queens).