Upper East Side, NY – An Upper East Side playground in need of repair will be starting full reconstruction. Today, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and Council Member Ben Kallos, who together provided $3,270,000 in funding, joined NYC Parks to break ground on Carl Schurz Park Playground.
At the request of parents, construction was postponed until the end of the summer. Construction completion is anticipated for September 2020, with Catbird Playground at the north end of the playground expected to remain open throughout.
The new playground upgrades will include:
- A reconstructed spray shower,
- New play equipment for children ages 2 to 5 and 5 to 12,
- Swings for children of all ages,
- New accessible ramps that connect to Catbird Playground,
- New game tables, benches, plantings and pavers.
The $3.3 million project was funded by a $2.5 million allocation from New York City Council Member Ben Kallos, $775,000 from Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and an additional 89,000 for Mayor Bill de Blasio. In the fall and winter of 2015, Council Member Ben Kallos and NYC Parks hosted two meetings to receive community input and ideas on how to reconstruct the playground.
“We are happy to break ground on this reconstruction project,” said NYC Parks Manhattan Borough Commissioner Castro. “The updated layout with new play equipment, benches, and swings will provide a brighter, safer, and more welcoming playground for the community. Thanks to Council Member Ben Kallos and Borough President Gale Brewer for this remarkable investment in Carl Schurz Park.”
“A safe and inviting place for children to play is a cornerstone of any community,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “Thank you to Councilmember Kallos for joining me to make sure that we invest in these vital spaces for New Yorkers".
“Children and families deserve a safe place to play in their neighborhood. As a new parent, all I want is a park where my daughter can play safely so I can relax for a moment,” said Council Member Ben Kallos. “We as a city need to do a better job keeping our parks in better shape. Thank you to Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer for joining me in investing in parks. We will be working closely with the Parks Department to ensure this project is completed on time, if not early.”
"We are grateful to have participated in conversations about the design. Aspects such as more swings, improved drainage, ensuring we keep the open sightlines, and more were all were incorporated because of our and the community's input. We are looking forward to an improved area for all," said Patrick McCluskey, Executive Director, Carl Schurz Park Conservancy.
“We're grateful for the funds provided to revitalize the playground of Carl Schurz Park. This playground serves residents of the Upper East Side, East Harlem and beyond. Investing in the playground is an investment in the future generation of committed New Yorkers who care about our city and want to keep it a welcoming, inclusive place,” Lisa Paule Co-founder, Serene Green 84.
“Carl Schurz Park is a lifeline and a treasure for so many families in Yorkville. We are grateful for Ben Kallos and Gale Brewer's commitment to restore our urban oasis which is a jewel. Our neighbors have seen the continuing work to restore the esplanade and now upgrades to the Park itself. Especially the children's play areas. Countless hours of safe play and fun will continue to be etched in the joyful memories of our families life in the city,” said Cynthia Kremer, Co-Founder of Serene Green 84.
“The Laborers are proud to stand with Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and Council Member Kallos at the groundbreaking for the long-awaited reconstruction of the Carl Schurz Park Playground. The hard-working men and women construction workers represented by the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) are looking forward to building a safe park for the families and children in the area. We thank Borough President Brewer and Council Member Kallos for always standing with working people and making sure this park was built with union labor,” Lowell Barton, Vice President and Organizing Director, Laborers’ Local 1010.