Improving NYC’s Parks

Summer is a great time to visit one of many NYC’s parks, which range from carefully landscaped lawns to athletic facilities to natural forests. The NYC Parks website provides a handy interactive map, with detailed information about facilities available in each park. You can also browse parks by borough.

The Parks Department has been working on a number of renovation projects, as part of PlaNYC. In the South Bronx, the 205-acre Soundview Park is undergoing a large PlaNYC capital project, which includes the restoration of natural areas, playgrounds, a running track with synthetic turf field, a new comfort station, and a new performance lawn. The work is set to be completed in the Fall of 2013. This summer, Soundview Park is hosting Summer Stage music performances, as well as a summer movie series. Situated where the Bronx River opens into the East River, the park also offers great water views.

In Northern Manhattan, Highbridge Park is home to a $62 million restoration of the High Bridge, the oldest bridge in New York City. The National Landmark was completed in 1848, as part of the part of the Old Croton Aqueduct. It was transferred to the Parks Department in 1960s, after the decommissioning of the aqueduct. The bridge has been closed since the early 1970’s.  It will be restored and reopened for pedestrians and bicyclists in 2013. This summer, High Bridge Park offers great views of the Harlem River, as well as outdoor fitness and wildlife exploration tours.

In Greenpoint, McCarren Park is home to another PlaNYC rehabilitation project. The McCarren Pool was one of the many pools built around the city by Robert Moses. It was closed in 1984. The rehabilitation project includes a redesigned swimming pool, a pool “beach”, as well as a recreation center. Salvaged wood from the Coney Island Boardwalk is being used in the construction. The work on the pool is almost complete, and the pool will be open for the Summer 2012 season.

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