By SILE MOLONEY
On Friday, July 25, NYC Parks held a celebration to mark the $5.2 million reconstruction of Wakefield Playground in the Bronx. NYC Parks’ first Deputy Commissioner Iris Rodriguez-Rosa joined Bronx Borough President Vanessa Gibson, Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz (AD 81), District 11 City Councilman Eric Dinowitz, representatives from Bronx Community Board 12, friends from Wakefield Playground, teachers and students from PS 16, children and teachers from Demores Childcare, and community members for the occasion.
“Wakefield Playground is a true neighborhood playground, and I’m thrilled that we were able to completely rebuild it for the community,” Rodriguez-Rosa said. “This work would not have been possible without the support of our dedicated elected officials, and I hope Wakefield Playground will be a source of joy and play for children in this community for decades to come.
State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (AD 83) said the renovated playground finally got the facelift kids and families deserved. “By making sustainable investments like these, we are ensuring that children in our community have a safe place to play, while making their health and well-being a priority,” he said. . “Thank you to everyone who made this possible.”
The $5.2 million project was funded with $3 million from the mayor’s office, $1 million from Jeffrey Dinowitz, $950,000 from Eric Dinowitz and $250,000 from the borough president’s office. Bronx.
Meanwhile, Jeffrey Dinowitz said: “I am thrilled the children of Wakefield have this beautifully improved playground. When I saw the State of the Park several years ago, I knew something had to be done, and Assembly Speaker Heastie and I were able to secure funding to help make it happen. He added, “I appreciate the efforts of former council member Andrew Cohen, council member Eric Dinowitz, state senator Jamaal Bailey (SD 36), community leader Audrey McAllister and the tremendous efforts of the Department of Parks to create this beautiful playground.”
🌳 This afternoon was the grand opening of the newly renovated Wakefield Playground!
🌳This $5.2 million investment provides a new entrance, ADA ramp, two basketball courts, sprinklers, swings, new lighting, new seating and an athletics track. pic.twitter.com/ccitoTOThV
— Vanessa L. Gibson, Bronx Borough President (@bronxbp) July 23, 2022
According to NYC Parks, the playground renovation includes all new play equipment and a power shower. On the upper level, two new basketball courts, a painted junior football pitch and an additional entrance for added security have also been installed. Finally, a new ADA accessible ramp now connects the two levels, and new paving, planting, seating, and drinking fountains have also been added.
The refurbishment came at the right time given the recent heatwave and attendees, even elected officials, were seen trying out the power showers on the day.
For his part, the councilman said children in the district deserve safe, fun and engaging places to play, and added that he was pleased the newly improved Wakefield Playground had truly “stepped out of the park” in achieving this goal. “The renovated space will serve to beautify our community, improve safety and accessibility, and most importantly show our children that we care,” said Eric Dinowitz.
“Thank you so much to everyone who came together to create this park, including the Parks Department, Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, State Senator Jamaal Bailey, former council member Andrew Cohen and community leader Audrey McAllister.”