A heavily used community green space adjoining the Ravenswood Houses and Queensview Homes in Long Island City is undergoing a $7.1 million renovation.
Elected officials and community leaders gathered Tuesday, June 29, for a groundbreaking ceremony at the Ravenswood Playground on 21st Street between 34th and 35th avenues.
“This is a great day for the children and families of Ravenswood Houses, Queensbridge Houses and the surrounding neighborhoods as we break ground on the first-class playground this community deserves,” Queens Borough President Donovan Richards said. “Fairness and equity demand that all children, no matter where they live, should have access to top-quality play spaces they need to thrive. Ravenswood Playground will create such a space, and I thank Council member Van Bramer and the de Blasio administration in helping make this project a reality.”
The $7.1 million project will reconstruct the playground with new, inclusive play equipment and a spray play area. Improvements will include new accessible entrances, repaved basketball courts and paths.
The project will also feature new benches, lighting, native tree and plant beds and a renovated picnic grove that will connect the playground and softball field. Renovations were made possible by a $3.9 million allocation from Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, $2.5 million from the borough president’s office and $693,000 from Mayor Bill de Blasio.
“The people of Ravenswood deserve a beautiful, modern park and playground and the way we renovate parks around our city must be done with an eye on equity,” Van Bramer said. “The $7.1 million renovation will make the Ravenswood Playground a welcoming place for kids and adults of all ages.”
The city acquired the site on behalf of NYCHA for the Ravenswood Houses project. The agency drew up plans to construct a community playground on the land and finally surrendered the property to NYC Parks in 1952.
Just months later, Ravenswood Houses Playground opened with basketball, handball and shuffleboard courts, an ice skating area, a softball field, swings, jungle gyms and a sandpit. In 1987, NYC Parks shortened the name to Ravenswood Playground.
“Reconstruction is in full swing at Ravenswood Playground. By next summer, the children and families of Long Island City will be able to enjoy brand-new play equipment, updated sports courts and a more inviting place to play,” NYC Parks Queens Borough Commissioner Michael Dockett said. “We’re grateful to Mayor de Blasio, Council member Van Bramer and the office of the borough president for their continued partnership and dedication to providing Queens residents with world-class green spaces.”
The project is expected to be completed in spring 2022.