By David Brand
Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen visited Astoria Park to break ground on a major park overhaul as part of “City Hall In Your Borough” week on Tuesday.
Astoria Park is one of five “anchor parks” — one in each borough — selected for development after years of underinvestment in a densely populated area. The two phase project will include installing a synthetic turf soccer field and track, limiting erosion and rehabilitating Charybdis Playground. The entire project is set for completion in the summer of 2020.
“The start of construction on major improvements to Astoria Park is a milestone for park equity not only in Queens, but for all of New York City,” Glen said. “With an Anchor Park in each borough, these investments fund renovations and new resources in long-overlooked parks serving a total of more than 750,000 New Yorkers.”
The park redevelopment comes a few months after a report published by the Center for an Urban Future revealed severe disinvestment in parks across Queens.
The average Queens park has not had a major upgrade since the early 90s, the report stated. At least 46 parks, triangles, and plazas — including six in Queens — have not received significant capital investment in at least a century. Twenty-five of the borough’s 66 playground have not been upgraded since the 1960s or earlier.
“Problems exacerbated by the age of the parks system are compounded by deferred maintenance and a lack of infrastructure upgrades, which means that aging parks often go decades without significant investment in both aboveground and below-grade infrastructure,” the report stated