$24 Million in NYC Parks and Community Development Block Grant Funding to Help Close Walk to a Park Gap
Mayor de Blasio today announced that 10 new sites will be added to the Schoolyards to Playgrounds program, with many of the sites slated for full capital renovations or minor improvements. Funded with more than $24 million dollars, with $18.2 million from NYC Parks and $6 million in Community Development Block Grants, these additional Brooklyn and Queens sites will help to close the city’s walk to a park goal of bringing 85 percent of New Yorkers within walking distance to a park by 2030.
“Every New Yorker deserves access to quality recreational space," said Mayor Bill de Blasio.”This program is an innovative way to bring more residents within walking distance to a park simply by opening up our schoolyards to the public when school isn't in session."
“Schoolyards to Playgrounds is a powerful partnership founded on the belief that public spaces are where our communities thrive. These ten new sites are targeted strategically in neighborhoods with below-average access to public space, and will bring even more New York City families within a walk to a park where they can play, relax, and grow,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP.
“Schools are hubs for communities and the Schoolyards to Playgrounds initiative provides public space for children in the area to play and be active,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “It’s important for children to engage in physical activity from a young age and this will provide additional space for families to come together and strengthen community relationships.”
Schoolyards to Playgrounds opens school play space during non-school hours. Currently, there are 251 schoolyards are already open in this capacity, and upon renovation completion, the expansion brings the number to 261 across the five boroughs. This new investment will also fund improvements to existing sites in the program, including PS 54 in Queens. Each site receiving complete capital reconstruction will receive up to $3 million dollars for completion; improvement site funding varies. Additionally, NYC DOE will provide $70,000 in funding annually, per site, for custodial labor and supplies.
Full capital construction:
· PS 136 – NYC School Construction Authority
· PS 361 – NYC Parks
· PS 95 – NYC School Construction Authority
· PS 177 – NYC School Construction Authority
· PS 163 – NYC School Construction Authority
· IS 228 – NYC Parks
· PS 306 – NYC Department of Education to include new sports coating, safety surface, and fencing.
· PS 377 – NYC Department of Education to include a new basketball court.
No Improvements Needed:
· PS 29
· PS 202
NYC Parks has conducted community input meetings for IS 228 and PS 361 and are expected for fall 2019 completion; both are currently in design.
“Playgrounds provide public space for students, families and community members to come together and be active,” said Lorraine Grillo, School Construction Authority President and CEO. “We look forward to working with the Parks Department, schools and community members throughout the renovation process to ensure the design meets the needs of the community.”
It looks like the Bronx is first to get new homeless shelters, but when it comes to schools, school yards, and parks the Bronx is last.