Oct. 26, 2021 By Christian Murray
A 3-acre park in Elmhurst is going to be getting a facelift—with funds coming via a city program that invests in neglected parks and playgrounds.
The mayor announced Tuesday that the city will be investing $425 million over the next 10 years in the Community Parks Initiative, a program that was launched in 2014 to rebuild and upgrade open space in low-income areas.
The program to date has seen the redesign or revamp of 67 parks at a cost of about $318 million. Each park had not seen a major upgrade in at least 20 years prior to its makeover.
The announcement of the $425 million came with an initial list of 10 parks to be upgraded, with three in the Bronx, three in Manhattan, two in Brooklyn, one in Staten Island and one in Queens. The Queens location will be Hoffman Park, which is located on Woodhaven Boulevard near the Queens Center Mall.
“Hoffman Park is long overdue for a facelift,” said Council Member Daniel Dromm who worked with the mayor on the program. “This investment will make this heavily used park more accessible and more user friendly.”
The park currently includes basketball courts and a children’s playground. The Parks Dept. will be working with the community to put together a design.
It is unclear how much will be spent on the upgrade—although the mayor has put in place a plan to revamp 100 parks with the $425 million—which would average $4.25 million per park.
All 10 parks that are to be upgraded are in priority areas as determined by the Task Force for Racial Inclusion and Equity—a task force headed by de Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray, along with Deputy Mayor Phil Thompson.
The taskforce was launched last year during the height of the pandemic and at around the same time that the city was urging residents to fill out the 2020 U.S. census. The census results showed that approximately 75 percent of the population of Queens is Hispanic/Latino, Black or Asian—and that about two-thirds of the population of New York City falls into these categories.
“Our recovery must focus on communities historically left behind, and the Community Parks Initiative is a great example of how to do just that,” de Blasio said. “This $425 million investment will improve open space in communities across the five boroughs for years to come.”
The plan calls for 10 parks to be upgraded per year for the next 10 years.
NYC Parks Commissioner Gabrielle Fialkoff praised de Blasio for the initiative and said that the mayor’s “equity legacy will live on for generations.”