New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

Upgrading Our Parks

A Vision for the East River Esplanade: 

When I took office, our community’s tireless leader, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, asked me to co-chair the East River Esplanade Task Force, as the Esplanade was in desperate need of repair. In my short time in office, I have negotiated $35 Million in city funding and over $9 million from Rockefeller University and $1 million from Hospital for Special Surgery. We’ve already broken ground on improvements for the Esplanade from 64th to 68th and 70th to 72nd Streets that will provide:

  • Landscaping with irrigation to keep it alive,
  • Water fountains,
  • Seating and lighting,
  • Designated bike lanes,
  • Noise barrier along the FDR Drive, and
  • Maintenance in perpetuity to keep it that way.

View the latest update from the Parks Department:



Fixing Carl Schurz Playground: Following complaints from parents and children about broken equipment at the Carl Schurz Park Playground on 84th Street, we are working with the Parks Department to use $1.3 million from Council District 5 for new equipment. Following coverage by DNAinfo and thanks to co-sponsorship from Community Board 8, the Carl Schurz Parks Conservancy, and the Parent Teacher Associations at P.S. 151, P.S. 290, and P.S. 527 we got feedback from park goers, grandparents, parents and most importantly the children who play in the park on how best to upgrade the playground.

A Conservancy for Every Park: This year we supported the launch and funding for conservancies for Ruppert and Sutton Parks. These new groups join the long-standing and invaluable conservancies we work with at Carl Schurz, St. Catherine’s, John Jay and the East River Esplanade. Conservancies are invaluable in protecting our all-too-limited park space. I hope in the next year we can launch a conservancy for Stanley Isaacs, thereby achieving my goal of having a conservancy for each and every park in my district.


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