June 6, 2017 By Jason Cohen
Elected officials and the Parks Department unveiled a $2.3 million renovation of Veterans Grove Playground in Elmhurst this morning.
The park, located at Judge Street and 43rd Ave., now features a new dog run, upgraded swings, new steel fencing, a new drinking fountain, bike racks, an interactive sprinkler and an underground water system, where receptacles catch the runoff water so it does not go into the city’s sewer system.
In 2013, Councilman Danny Dromm (D-Jackson Heights), allocated $1.5 million to renovate the park. This money, along with $175,000 from Borough President Melinda Katz and $550,000 from the Mayor, funded the upgrades.
Construction began in June 2016 and finished in March, nine months ahead of schedule.
“This has been a jewel in the community, but it really needed a facelift,” said Councilman Dromm.
The playground is dedicated to the memory of soldiers from Elmhurst who lost their lives in World War I and includes a plaque honoring these veterans. The park was established in 1928.
The park, which used to be “dark and dingy,” needed to be made more welcoming, Dromm commented. With St. Bartholomew School across the street, the councilman stressed that those kids should have a colorful, vibrant place where they can go every day after school.
“We envisioned a place that’s friendly for children and adults alike,” he said.
In addition, to Veterans Grove Playground, Dromm has allocated $5 million to improve parks and playgrounds in Elmhurst, including Crowley Playground, Hoffman Park, CC Moore Playground and Newtown Playground.