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Photo Flash: NYC Parks Cuts Ribbon on Fort Washington Park Restoration

NYC Parks Commissioner Veronica M. White today joined City Council Members Robert Jackson and local youths to cut the ribbon on a new playground and ballfields in Fort Washington Park in northern Manhattan, one of eight regional parks being transformed under PlaNYC, the City''s long-term plan for a greener, greater New York. The regional parks help address the need for open space for the City''s growing population. Scroll down for photos!

"Thanks to Mayor Bloomberg''s leadership, we have invested in the green spaces of the future by creating and restoring parks throughout New York City," said Commissioner White. "We are grateful to the northern Manhattan community for partnering with us to realize the transformation of this majestic waterfront park along the Hudson River."

The $30.4 million PlaNYC restoration of Fort Washington Park includes new amenities to improve recreation opportunities, waterfront access, landscaping, pedestrian and greenway paths, ADA accessibility and shoreline stabilization. Today''s event celebrated the completion of the first two of five improvement projects for the park, representing about $11 million of the project's total. This includes a new Nature Discovery playground, an upgraded section of the greenway, picnic areas, five volleyball courts, two redesigned baseball diamonds and a soccer field in a ten-block area roughly between West 158th and 168th Streets.

Two other projects are underway further north in the park. NYC Parks is opening up one mile of formerly inaccessible waterfront and creating a greenway from Dyckman Street south along the Hudson River. Access to the existing greenway is being improved through a new ADA ramp connection between Riverside Drive and Dyckman Street as part of another project that includes enhancing the greenway and entrance to Inwood Hill Park. The fifth project will involve the rehabilitation of pedestrian bridge at 180th Street over the Amtrak line to welcome park users into the central part of the park.

Located along the Hudson River from 155th Street to Dyckman Street, Fort Washington Park offers spectacular views of the Hudson River, the New Jersey Palisades and the George Washington Bridge. This 160-acre ribbon of dramatic cliffs, meadows and wooded areas was built in sections. The Little Red Lighthouse, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is featured in a popular children''s book The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge, is located in the center of park. The existing configuration was laid out by Robert Moses during the construction of the Henry Hudson Parkway, which runs along the park's eastern edge.

Other regional parks already developed as part of PlaNYC include McCarren Pool and the first phase of Calvert Vaux Park in Brooklyn; and Rockaway Park and the first phase of Highland Park in Queens. Regional parks currently in construction as part of PlaNYC include the High Bridge, connecting Manhattan and the Bronx across the Harlem River; Soundview Park in the Bronx, and the Ocean Breeze Indoor Track and Field Facility on Staten Island. Also, thus far as part of PlaNYC, 229 Schoolyard to Playground sites were opened to the public, 26 asphalt yards were converted to turf fields, lights were installed at 18 fields to allow for extended playing hours, 319 Greenstreets were built, and more than 800,000 trees have been planted under MillionTreesNYC.

Photo Credit: Daniel Avila

high res photos

Photo Flash: NYC Parks Cuts Ribbon on Fort Washington Park Restoration
Fort Washington Park

Photo Flash: NYC Parks Cuts Ribbon on Fort Washington Park Restoration
Fort Washington Park

Photo Flash: NYC Parks Cuts Ribbon on Fort Washington Park Restoration
Fort Washington Park

high res photos

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