Courtesy of NYC Parks/Malcolm Pinckney
City Councilman Donovan Richards helps break ground on a complete $8.1 million reconstruction of Almeda Playground in the Rockaways.

The city broke ground on an $8.1 million complete renovation of Almeda Playground in the Arverne by the Sea section of the Rockways as part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Community Parks Initiative.

NYC Park Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver joined Councilman Donovan Richards and community members at the playground, which is located on Beach Channel Drive between Beach 65th and Beach 66th streets.

“We are thrilled to break ground on the Arvern community’s vision for a dynamic recreation space,” Silver said. “Thanks to the Community Park Initiative, Almeda Playground will undergo a huge transformation that will enhance this vital green space to better serve the students of P.S. 42 and the entire neighborhood for generations to come.”

Parks held a public input meeting in Oct. 2016 where community members presented their ideas for a reimagined park. The reconstructed playground will include a new play area, spray showers, an adult fitness area, basketball and handball courts and shaded seating areas.

“The reimagined Almeda Playground will provide the Arverne community with a brand-new public space that will benefit the students of P.S. 42 as well as the surrounding community,” Richards said. “Every community deserves easy access to quality park space, which is why the Community Parks Initiative is so important to building up neighborhoods around the city. I’m proud to say this $8.1 million investment will deliver a fully constructed park shaped by and for the community.”

Launched by the de Blasio administration in 2014, the Community Parks Initiative strives to build a more equitable parks system by investing in under resourced parks that are located in densely populated and growing neighborhoods with higher-than-average concentrations of poverty. Through the initiative, the city is investing $318 million in capital dollars funding renovations of 67 parks across the five boroughs that have not undergone improvements in decades.

Richards thanked the mayor and the Parks Department “for their commitment to investing in areas that haven’t seen improvements to their parks in decades.”

The Almeda Playground reconstruction project is expected to be completed by fall 2020.

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