Two playgrounds in Brooklyn will be refurbished as part of a city initiative to invest in parks in communities historically lacking investment, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Tuesday.
The two playgrounds, Jerome Playground in East New York and Marc and Jason’s Playground in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, are part of the first cohort of 10 parks that will benefit from a $425 million plan to revitalize city green spaces. Ten parks will be selected each year over the next decade under the “Community Parks Initiative,” which aims to renovate long-neglected parks in disinvested corners of the city.
“Our recovery must focus on communities historically left behind, and the Community Parks Initiative is a great example of how to do just that,” the mayor said in a statement. “This $425 million investment will improve open space in communities across the five boroughs for years to come. I want to thank Commissioner [Gabrielle] Fialkoff and everyone at NYC Parks for prioritizing equity in their stewardship of our incredible parks system.”
The mayor’s office says that the parks selected for CPI are in high-density, low-income areas, and the parks themselves have seen less than $250,000 worth of investment over the past 20 years. The program formerly operated in designated areas of the city, but the newly selected parks need not be in one of those zones (East New York, for instance, is not part of a CPI zone).
Parks Department spokesperson Anessa Hodgson said that the parks selected were within areas hit hardest by COVID-19, and are part of the city’s push for an “equitable recovery.”
Since 2014, 67 parks have gone through the “reimagining” process, the mayor’s office says.
The city will solicit design recommendations for the refurbished parks from local residents at public meetings sometime in the coming months, though the city has not yet determined exactly what projects should be done at the chosen grounds. That will be determined later on, Hodgson said, during the design section of the capital projects process over the rest of the current fiscal year, which ends June 30, 2022.