'Tis the season for outdoor adventures.
New Yorkers can't resist an afternoon in the city's greenery—a welcomed break from the typical hustle and bustle. Even though we've seen spectacular renovations at venues like Domino Park in Williamsburg—a funky, industrial aesthetic extending throughout the grounds and its family-friendly offerings—there are many parks throughout the five boroughs that require more TLC than they've received.
The Center for an Urban Future just released a report claiming that roughly 20 percent of parks citywide haven't undergone a major infrastructure renovation in 25 years, and the city will have to invest at least $5.8 billion over the next 10 years to rectify this situation. This report concludes that playgrounds, pathways and drainage systems, among other features, will require fixing. For some locations, it's been well over 25 years since they've been updated: Dr. Charles R. Drew Park in Jamaica hasn't seen a major renovation since 1985, Newtown Barge Playground in Greenpoint since 1972, Grady Playground in Brighton Beach since 1957 and Beach Channel Park in Far Rockaway since 1930, according to the New York Daily News.
Though Mayor Bill de Blasio has been praised for his efforts to preserve the city's green space (with initiatives such as the Community Parks Initiative and Anchor Parks Initiative), the reports suggest that there is still work to do. One area that requires focus is proper maintenance (the Daily News reports that there are only 39 plumbers on staff for all of the parks across the five boroughs).
“There’s a philosophical shift that needs to take place, where parks are seen as critical city infrastructure,” Lynn Kelly, executive director of New Yorkers for Parks said in the Center for an Urban Future statement. “Just as sewers and electrical lines are maintained, parks and open space should have equal weight in how they are funded and maintained.”
Fortunately, this report claims parties are exploring realistic ways for the parks to receive the proper attention they require, such as new revenue sources and new maintenance plans. If you're looking for more information about the Center for an Urban Future's findings, click here.