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QNS/Photos by Anthony Giudice
Queens Parks Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski gave updates on Ridgewood's parks, including Rosemary's Playground, during the Ridgewood Property Owners and Civic Association meeting.

Rosemary’s Playground, located next to I.S. 93 in Ridgewood, had not seen a major investment in nearly two decades, leaving the park in less than favorable condition.

Now, with the help of the newly formed ground Friends of Rosemary’s Playground, it is on the Parks Department’s radar for funding to make those improvements, including cleaning the play equipment, creating a green space and doing something with the barren elevated flower beds.

Queens Parks Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski praised the members of the Friends of Rosemary’s Playground for taking initiative and bringing this issue to light.

“Rosemary’s Playground, for me and the Parks Department, is a perfect example of what can happen when a community is invested in their neighborhood park,” Lewandowski told members of the Ridgewood Property Owners and Civic Association (RPOCA) at their meeting Thursday night. “Recently, there are some parents who play there with their children who recognize that the park needs something to be done.”

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Lewandowski said that the Parks Department has heard their concerns and have been working with Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley to secure some funding for improvements, during their monthly meeting on Thursday evening.

“At this point, it’s not enough to do a full restoration,” Lewandowski said. “The new budget will come out in July and we are hoping that more money will be allocated then, because what the department would like to see done is upgrade the children’s play area.”

The commissioner also gave an update on the six other parks in the greater Ridgewood area.

Evergreen Park in Glendale is nearing completion on the first phase of renovations. There has been an additional $2.4 million secured for phase two.

“Recently we held a scope meeting, we met with residents up in that area,” Lewandowski said of phase two. “We had a visioning session on what they’d like to see incorporated in that project. So we are working on those designs now.”

Highland Park is also seeing some renovations on both the Queens and Brooklyn sides.

On the Brooklyn side, the ballfields have been completely redone, Lewandowski announced. Other improvements including playgrounds, paving and work around the Ridgewood Reservoir are either underway or in the works.

Funding has been secured for a capital project to upgrade the hockey rink in Mafera Park.

“We’ve been working with Council member Crowley,” Lewandowski said. “There had been some interested in revitalizing hockey in that area again so we’re moving forward with that project. It’s only in the very beginning stages, so you won’t see construction for a little bit. We’re doing some interim work to keep it patched up while we move along.”

Lewandowski noted that two parks, Starr Playground and Benninger Playground, are in need of community support and a “Friends” organization that would keep an eye on the parks and fight for improvements.

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