Aug. 12 2021, By Michael Dorgan
The Parks Dept. has completed a $5.2 million revamp of a playground in Elmhurst—and several Queens officials visited the area Tuesday to hold a ceremonial ribbon cutting event.
Clement Clarke Moore Homestead Playground, a 1.98-acre park on Broadway (between 82nd St. and 45th Ave.), has undergone a major facelift and now features an expanded play area, new play equipment, swings, a spray shower and a multi-purpose open area for recreation.
The redevelopment also includes new seating, new paths, upgraded sports courts and accessible entrances that create a more welcoming entryway into the park, according to the Parks Dept.
“Every child deserves a great playground, and every community deserves access to quality open space and thriving parks,” NYC Parks Acting Commissioner Margaret Nelson said at the ceremony. “The new and improved CC Moore Homestead Playground now provides plenty of recreational opportunities for the children and families of Elmhurst.”
The children’s play area along the 82nd Street section of the park has been revamped and it has been split between an infant to 5-year-old section and a 5- to 12-year-old section.
The upgraded sports area at the site runs along 45th Avenue. It includes two basketball courts, a volleyball court, a handball court and two ping-pong tables.
An open area located in the center of the playground has also been improved and can be used for outdoor events.
Construction began in March 2019 and the revamp was completed in October 2020. The Parks Dept. said it decided to delay the ribbon-cutting ceremony until this week due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, Council Member Daniel Dromm and Community Board 4 District Manager Christian Cassagnol also attended the ceremony Tuesday.
Richards said the playground was “first-class” and deserving of the Elmhurst community.
“Fairness and equity demand that all children should have access to the top-quality play spaces they need to thrive and the recent renovations at Moore Homestead Playground have created such a space right here in Elmhurst,” Richards said.
Dromm, who represents the Jackson Heights-Elmhurst area, said that a new pine tree has also been planted in the playground that will add to the festivities during the holiday season.
“I have held yearly holiday celebrations in the park,” Dromm said. “Now, with a new pine tree in the park, our tree lighting ceremony will be even more exciting. This park is beautiful and ready for all to use.”
Dromm said that the playground is named after the famous American author—Clement Clarke Moore— who wrote the poem ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas in 1823.
Moore and his ancestors had owned the site for generations—since the mid-1600s. The Board of Transportation, however, acquired it during the construction of the Independent Subway in 1930. It was later transferred to NYC Parks and converted to Elmhurst Playground in 1954 before the city council renamed it in 1987.
The redevelopment project was funded with $4.3 million from the Queens Borough President’s Office, $672,000 from Mayor Bill de Blasio and $300,000 from Council Member Daniel Dromm.