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Image via Google Maps
Image via Google Maps
Starr Playground, on the corner of Starr Street and Onderdonk Avenue in Ridgewood.

Starr Playground in Ridgewood is set to get millions in city funds for future improvements, and residents can voice their opinions on how the money should be used.

Councilman Antonio Reynoso recently announced that he will host an open meeting at Starr Playground on April 17 to discuss future improvements that residents want to see at the park. The Parks Department is co-hosting the event, and a Parks spokesperson confirmed on April 4 that it has $2.5 million from Reynoso and Borough President Melinda Katz’s offices to renovate the park.

“Parks hosts public input meetings as our first step whenever we begin a capital project,” the spokesperson said. “At these meetings we get feedback from elected officials, community board members, neighborhood leaders, and all park users about what they envision for their park. This input helps us create a design, which is the first step of our capital process.”

According to Jennifer Gutierrez, chief of staff at Reynoso’s office, the funding for Starr Playground was first allocated in the fiscal year 2016 after a number of constituents spoke out about the park’s needs. Reynoso is one of the few Council members to cover multiple boroughs in his district, and Starr Playground is the only open space in the portion of Ridgewood in that district.

Gutierrez said that since they are so limited in how they can help Ridgewood, Reynoso’s office wants to help Ridgewood in any way that it can.

After the money was first set aside, residents formed a group called the Friends of Starr Playground and began holding meetings of their own to provide input to Reynoso’s office, Gutierrez said. Those meetings have already led to agreements about which phases of construction will be performed first, Gutierrez said.

The top priorities for community members are new swings for bigger kids, resurfacing for the sprinkler area and adding or fixing benches in the park, according to Gutierrez

The goal of the April 17 meeting is to “tie it all together” and introduce the project to more people in the community, Gutierrez added. The meeting will take place at 6 p.m. at Starr Playground, and in case of rain the meeting will move to P.S. 305 on Seneca Avenue.

Starr Playground will be the second Ridgewood park that is set to undergo renovations, with Rosemary Playground currently in the design phase of the project.

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