NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP, today joined Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., State Senator Ruben Diaz Sr., Assemblyman Marcos Crespo and CB 9 District Manager William Rivera to cut the ribbon on the newly renovated playground at El Parque de los Niños.

“We completed this playground ahead of schedule, and just in time for the thick of summer,” said Commissioner Silver. “I know kids will be eager to play in these new spray showers in the scorching days ahead. This playground is a tremendous improvement to El Parque De Los Niños, and there are more improvements to come. This fall, we’ll start working to reconstruct the softball field and install a running track and fitness equipment.”

This $1.5 million project to reconstruct the playground and seating area along Harrod St. was funded with $1,365,000 from the Borough President and $156,000 from the Mayor’s office. The playground now includes safety surfacing and play equipment for children ages 2-12, including a swing set and a variety of spray shower features. New planting, steel fencing, and a drinking fountain will also be added, as well as replica benches from the 1964 World’s Fair.

“Parque de los Ninos is a critical amenity for the people of The Bronx,” said Bronx Borough President Diaz Jr. “I was proud to support this park during my time in the New York State Assembly, and I have continued to make capital investments to this park as borough president. A new playground is just the first step towards a fully renovated Parque de los Ninos, and I thank Commissioner Silver and his department, as well as my colleagues in government, Council Member Palma and Assembly Member Crespo, for their partnership on this important project,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

“This $1.6 million renovation comes as a breath of fresh air for Soundview residents,” said Assemblyman Crespo. Parks symbolize fun, childhood and most importantly parks represent a space where families come together to create memories that last a lifetime. Our kids and The Bronx overall deserve quality environments, and I am proud to know that this million dollar improvement will bring about just that.”

Phase II of this project—funded by the Borough President and Council Member Annabel Palma—will serve to reconstruct the softball field and add a natural grass outfield, install a running track with an artificial turf and multi-purpose infield, and will add an area with fitness equipment. Phase II construction is scheduled to begin in the fall 2017.