The children’s playground in the heart of Astoria Park, named for a mythical Greek monster, has reopened to the public following a $12.5 million renovation.
After the city Parks Department reconstructed Charybdis Playground over the last two years, the space now includes a state-of-the-art spray shower, all new equipment and a complete renovation of the comfort station, which will be completed this winter.
“Despite the fact it is named after a scary mythological sea monster, the newly reconstructed Charybdis Playground is truly a beautiful and fun space that will serve the recreational needs of Astoria’s children and families in western Queens neighborhoods for decades to come,” Queens Borough President Donovan Richards said. “Having access to first-class parks and recreational facilities is important to the families of Queens, and I am glad to see the ongoing major upgrade to our borough’s park system. I thank the mayor and the Council, including former Council member and my good friend Costa Constantinides, for providing this funding.”
Constantinides allocated $3 million in funding for the project, and Mayor Bill de Blasio delivered $9.4 million as part of the greater Anchor Parks program, which already completed a new eight-lane track surrounding a brand-new synthetic turf soccer field; an adult fitness area adjacent to the track; new site amenities including water fountains and benching lining the East River waterfront; as well as a new rain garden and much-needed erosion control.
“This is wonderful,” de Blasio said during an earlier press briefing on Sept. 24. “It is a renovation to one of the most popular playgrounds in all of Queens. Kids are going to love this, and for so many hardworking families in Astoria and surrounding neighborhoods, this is going to be a step in the right direction.”
Later that day, the mayor named Gabrielle Fialkoff as NYC Parks commissioner. She replaces Acting Commissioner Margaret Nelson, who helped cut the ribbon at Charybdis Playground.
“We’re delighted to celebrate the tremendous transformation of Charybdis Playground,” Nelson said. “With new play equipment and an interactive spray play area that incorporates a piece of this historic park’s past, Charybdis Playground is better equipped to serve Astoria for generations to come. We’re grateful to Mayor de Blasio and former Council member Constantinides for their dedication and commitment to providing New Yorkers with quality, world-class parks.”