NYC Parks completes $5.8 million renovation of Nautilus Playground in Roy Wilkins Park

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NYC Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue (c.) cuts the ribbon on the $5.8 million makeover at Nautilus Playground at Roy Wilkins Park in St. Albans.
Photo by Daniel Avila/NYC Parks

Southeast Queens families are celebrating the newly renovated Nautilus Playground inside Roy Wilkins Park in St. Albans. The $5.8 capital project added new play equipment, upgraded the nautical-themed spray shower and constructed a brand-new plaza with seating.

NYC Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue was joined by Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, elected officials and community members on Tuesday, Oct. 31 for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the renovations.

“Thanks to these exciting new renovations, Nautilus Playground will continue to enchant Queens community members of all ages for generations to come with its charming aquatic theme, enhanced play and fitness equipment, and new neighborhood plaza,” Donoghue said. “Playgrounds are a vital necessity for connecting with friends, building community, and staying active. This reconstruction is just the latest example of our commitment to provide safe, accessible public spaces in all five boroughs.”

Photo by Daniel Avila/NYC Parks

The $5.8 million capital project upgraded the playground with a brand-new plaza surrounded by benches. A new spray shower area has been enhanced, with colored concrete pavement, a nautilus motif in a sea of blue, and new fish-themed ground spray features for younger children. The project also renovated the play area with new children’s play equipment, swings, a circuit training station for older teens and a separate space for adult fitness equipment.

Council Member Nantasha Williams said that investing in Southeast Queens community spaces is an investment in a shared future.

“The renovation of Nautilus Playground not only transforms a physical space but also ignites a sense of hope and excitement among us all. It symbolizes our commitment to fostering a vibrant, connected community where families thrive and memories are made,” Williams said.  “This revitalized playground is not just a recreational area; it’s a testament to our collective dedication to creating an inclusive environment where everyone, regardless of age or background, can come together, play, and forge lasting bonds.”

The project was funded by the Office of the Queens Borough President and the New York City Council.

The renovation project was funded by Queens Borough President Donovan Richards and the New York City Council.

“The scars of systemic disinvestment are evident across southeast Queens, especially when it comes to park space. But with the gorgeous new Nautilus Playground, revamped in partnership with the Parks Department, we’re flipping that script and investing in local families who deserve a healthy place to play and bond,” Richards said. “Thank you to everyone who made this $5.8 million project a reality and I look forward to seeing kids from across Southeast Queens enjoying the new equipment for years to come.”

Photo by Daniel Avila/NYC Parks

State Sen. Leroy Comrie said the renovation was due to the persistence of several current and former officeholders.

“The newly remodeled and reconstructed Nautilus Playground at Roy Wilkins Park is a testament to the vision of former Council Member I. Daneek Miller, former Queens BP Melinda Katz and the tenacity of current Council Member Nantasha Williams and Queens BP Donovan Richards,” Comrie said. “I am pleased to see that the project has been completed with support and input from Community Board 12 leadership and local stakeholders. I commend my colleagues as well as Commissioner Donoghue and the team at NYC Parks for understanding the need for our youth and families to once again have a viable recreational space and working to see that come to fruition. Open space is essential to the vitality of our neighborhoods and investment is key to ensuring our community has access to the best facilities possible.”

Photo by Daniel Avila/NYC Parks