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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Parks in Manhattan: New Park at Heliport Site

In her travels, Peachy Deegan is quite pleased to see that the park on the East river is completed! Phase I, that is.

Whom You Know's mover and shaker, Council Member Jessica Lappin, along with Borough President Stringer and New York City Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe were involved with the breaking of the ground at this new park at the heliport site in the east 60s along the East River.

“In a city like New York, we depend on our parks,” Council Member Lappin said. “Our parks are our backyards, our playgrounds, and our sanctuaries. Our parks are our shared community spaces.”

Council Member Lappin allocated over $2.8 million for the first two phases of the new park. When completed, Phases I and II will connect to the East River Esplanade and are planned to have a dog run and landscaped seating areas. The first two phases will sit along the East River waterfront and stretch from 60th Street to 63rd Street. Phases III and IV of the park are planned to house a pavilion and connect to a greenway path that will extend south to 54th Street.

Despite the importance of open spaces, the east side lacks the park space that some other neighborhoods enjoy. City-wide, New York residents enjoy 3.5 acres of park space per 1,000 people. In Council Member Lappin’s district, residents only have one tenth of that space. In this district, there are a mere 0.3 acres of park space per 1,000 residents.

“This groundbreaking is an important step for an area that sorely needs park space,” Council Member Lappin said.

The area was formerly the site of the east side heliport that closed nearly a decade ago. Preliminary construction on the park began in the fall of 2007. Phase I is scheduled to open in spring 2009 with Phase II opening in spring of 2010.

“Today we are here to celebrate the transformation of this vacant lot into a neighborhood park,” Lappin said.

Whom You Know thinks the park is a fabulous addition to Manhattan!

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