September 27, By Christian Murray
The Parks Department plans to upgrade a troubled Woodside park and released plans last week for a $3 million revamp.
Hart Playground, located at 37th Avenue and 65th Street, has been the site of controversy over the last few years as many parents have expressed concerns about day laborers congregating near the play area and the homeless using the bathrooms.
Last year, Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer and Queens Borough President Melinda Katz announced that they were allocating nearly $3 million in city funds to restore the playground and make it more inviting for children and adults.
The park, at present, has a very open layout and the children’s area and adult space is not clearly delineated, according to Parks Dept. officials. Therefore, adults without children often wander over to the playground area concerning some parents.
The redesign aims to clearly separate the children’s play area from the adult section—through the placement of trees and shrubs. The play area will be on the western portion of the park.
“This will minimize the traffic of adults into the play space,” according to a Parks Department official who released the plans at Community Board 2’s Land Use Committee meeting last week. “The playground space will feel more coherent and much more safe.”
The children’s section will include swings and play space broken down by age groups. There will be a section dedicated to children below the age of 5 and another for children between 5 and 12.
The Parks Depart. is also introducing a much larger spray shower.
All the existing equipment is going to be replaced and the park will be resurfaced.
The eastern section of the park will feature a new basketball court, replacing the existing one. In addition, the Parks Depart. is adding a half-court so basketball players can practice. Parks will also be painting lines for a volley ball court.
The Parks Depart. anticipates that it will start construction in the spring of 2019 and that construction will take about a year.