Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Williamsbridge Oval Park open to community

Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz and Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe were joined by Parks Bronx Borough Commissioner Hector Aponte, District Manager of Community Board 7 Fernando Tirado, Jerome-Gun Hill BID Executive Director Michael Lambert, Community Board 7 Parks Chair William Francis and others to celebrate the ribbon cutting this afternoon at the Williamsbridge Oval Park. Also attending the event were members of the Friends of the Williamsbridge Oval, the St. Brendan's school choir and other members of the Norwood community.

This looks like a nice playground.
“Williamsbridge Oval originally served as a reservoir of drinking water for the Bronx, and as a park it has long been a 'wellspring' of recreational opportunities,” Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe said in a statement. “Along with the recently completed running track and synthetic turf field, and the soon-to-be-opened recreation center, these new playgrounds and basketball courts will allow the Norwood community to continue to 'draw from' Williamsbridge Oval for years to come."   

The reconstruction includes two new playgrounds: one that is handicapped-accessible and contains play equipment for toddlers and preschoolers, the other with more challenging climbing features for older children. The site is united by a centralized spray plaza that recognizes the site’s history as a reservoir with the embedded names of New York’s aquifers and watersheds. The renovation also includes a new basketball complex, seating, ornamental planting beds, pathways, and restoration of the site’s promenade.

This $6.1 million project is part of a $200 million investment in Bronx Parks paid for with mitigation funds from the construction of the Croton Water Filtration Plant through the New York City Department of Environmental Protection and the Municipal Water Finance Authority.

Croton funding has also allowed us to reconstruct park’s recreation center. The $3.6 million dollar overhaul is almost complete, and includes a new roof, fa├žade, drainage system, upgraded restrooms, and handicapped accessibility. This is in addition to a new synthetic turf field and running track that were completed using Croton funds in 2008. In total, nearly $14 million in Croton mitigation funds have been spent on improvements to Williamsbridge Oval Park.

Also, ribbon cuttings are just as dumb as groundbreakings.

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