Elected officials and community members joined NYC Parks officials for a ground-breaking ceremony Friday, Aug. 12, at the Beach 59th Street Playground in Arverne where a $5 million reconstruction project is underway.
“I’m thrilled to help break ground on the Beach 59th Street Playground renovation, a project I’m proud to have funded in my time as the local City Council member,” Queens Borough President Donovan Richards said. “This new and improved playground will offer our children and families in Arverne a better space to play and enjoy their community. The playground design will feature imprints of fish and sea creatures stamped into the concrete pavement, offering opportunities for discovery and amusement.”
The project will reconstruct the children’s play area to include new equipment, a safety surface, a new spray play area, a drinking fountain, benches, game tables, security lighting and plantings.
“During the COVID-19 pandemic, our parks offered vital open spaces for families, children and neighbors to convene and commune with each other,” Councilwoman Selvena Brooks-Powers said. “This $5 million investment in Beach 59th Street Playground ensures Council District 31 families can continue to use the playground for years to come. This new construction will revitalize the entire community with an upgraded spray area, drinking fountain and new play equipment for children to play right near the beach.”
The renovated playground will also feature new swings for both young and older children, a new shade structure and a new accessible ramp at the Beach 60th Street entrance.
“The groundbreaking for this playground is a huge step forward for Arverne and our community. It will have something for everyone and be a beautiful addition to the Rockaway Peninsula,” Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato said. “Credit for this project must go to the amazing community advocates who never stopped fighting for something that would be vital for the families of the community. Thank you to ‘Friends of Beach 59th Street Playground Association’ including the dynamic Florence Ferguson — because of their hard work they are making this playground a reality and we will all benefit from their hard work and determination.”
Assemblyman Khaleel Anderson congratulated Ferguson and her team “who worked tirelessly” to have their vision of equitable recreation come to life.
“I am proud to witness the fruits of local and community stewardship,” Anderson said. “I look forward to working in collaboration across the board to preserve and strengthen our community to provide a brighter future across the peninsula.”
The $5 million renovation was made possible with $2.94 million from the Office of the Borough President and $2 million from the City Council.
“This new playground is a welcome addition to the community, providing our children with a fun, safe place to exercise and play,” state Senator James Sanders said. “I applaud the city for making this important investment, and I look forward to seeing the benefits of its creation flourish.”
The total renovation of the playground will uplift the community and bring new recreational opportunities to Arverne, according to NYC Parks Queens Borough Commissioner Mike Dockett.
“Thanks to our borough president and City Council, and with input from the community, this new playground will serve as a focal point for play, exploration and fun for decades to come,” Dockett said.