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NYC Parks unveils $4.7 million adventure course at Rockaway Beach

Rockaway Beach adventure course
Queens elected leaders and NYC Parks cut the ribbon on the $4.7 million Shore Front Parkway Adventure Course Wednesday morning. (Photos by NYC Parks/Daniel Avila)

Nearly a decade after Superstorm Sandy pulverized the Rockaways, NYC Parks cut the ribbon on a new $4.7 million adventure course and pickleball court built with FEMA support for post-Sandy revitalization in Rockaway Beach.

The Shore Front Parkway Adventure Course between Beach 101st and Beach 102nd streets was officially opened Wednesday morning and it includes the first designated public pickleball court in the Rockaways.

“The opening of this adventure course is emblematic of Rockaway Beach’s comeback from both Hurricane Sandy and the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Queens Borough President Donovan Richards said. “Both events underscored the importance of being together as a community and of having access to parks and recreational facilities that allow children and adults to be active and enjoy the outdoors. Our parks and playgrounds are the anchors of our neighborhoods, and the families of Rockaway Beach deserve nothing less than to have a first-class park like this one to call their own.”

Rockaway Beach adventure course
Photo by NYC Parks/Daniel Avila

The new area, alongside the re-constructed Rockaway Boardwalk, was made possible with $4.072 million from FEMA through the Sandy Recovery Act.

“It is exciting to see the improvements we continue to bring to the Rockaway community after Hurricane Sandy devastated much of the area nearly 10 years ago,” state Senator Joe Addabbo said. “However, out of that devastation we were able to build the Rockaways back better than they were before, and this project proves it. This new adventure course will bring fun and excitement to residents of all ages and we were able to incorporate the new national craze of pickleball into this project by unveiling the first designated public pickleball courts in Rockaway.”

Rockaway Beach adventure course
Photo by NYC Parks/Daniel Avila

Pickleball is a great alternative for older folks who used to play tennis but have physical limitations such as hip, shoulder, knee or other joint problems. The new court is in the western portion of the new space and features spectator seating. The middle portion of the site is dominated by an obstacle course, designed to be a complete circuit and give users a challenging full-body workout.

“As Rockaway continues its revitalization since Hurricane Sandy devastated the region, we are thrilled to cut the ribbon on the newest amenities to the peninsula,” NYC Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue said. “I’d like to express our sincere gratitude to all of our partners involved in this project, including the community, whose vision aided our design which has now become a reality.”

Rockaway Beach adventure course
Photo by NYC Parks/Daniel Avila

The new space also includes numerous seating opportunities under both metal shade structures and trees along with planting beds to provide seasonal interest.

“The people of Rockaway have been waiting a long time for their adventure course and pickleball court to finally open, so it’s great to be here and see this long process through to completion,” Councilwoman Joann Ariola said. “These new amenities represent another step in the now near-decadelong recovery process post-Sandy, and add even further to the stunning rebirth we’ve seen from this incredibly resilient community.”

Rockaway Beach adventure course
Photo by NYC Parks/Daniel Avila

Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato, who was born and raised in Rockaway Beach, praised the new community amenity.

“As far as I’m concerned my district has the greatest beaches in all of New York state, and beyond. With the 10-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy approaching, I am proud of the continued collaboration with elected leadership and the New York City Parks Department, to continue to invest in the Rockaway community and our beaches. Today’s ribbon-cutting for this new and innovative adventure course and pickleball court on Shore Front Parkway shows that our recovery is not just about surviving, but thriving and being stronger than before.”

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