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September 07, 2018, (718) 595-6600

Department of Environmental Protection Joins NYC Parks to Reopen Playground 52 After $9.5 Million Transformation

Playground 52 Ribbon Cutting

Green Infrastructure will Absorb Stormwater, Cleanup East River and Improve Air Quality

Photos are Available on DEP’s Flickr Page

New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Vincent Sapienza joined NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., Assembly Member Carmen Arroyo, Council Member Rafael Salamanca Jr. and Community Board 2 District Manager Ralph Acevedo to cut the ribbon on the reconstructed Playground 52, including a full renovation of the comfort station and a new skate park. This is just one of 18 Bronx parks that will be reconstructed under the Community Parks Initiative (CPI), NYC Parks’ plan for an equitable parks system.

DEP has committed approximately $50 million in funding for the construction of green infrastructure installations at CPI sites citywide. The green infrastructure will manage the precipitation that falls on the parks, and some of the surrounding streets, keeping it out of the combined sewer system and helping to reduce combined sewer overflows that sometimes occur during heavy rainfall. New York City has the most ambitious and aggressive green infrastructure program in the nation, with thousands of installations currently under construction across the city. In addition to managing stormwater, green infrastructure helps to improve air quality while also providing shade and lowering summertime temperatures.

“This revitalized playground is not only a wonderful community space, but its new green infrastructure will play an important role in managing stormwater to reduce flooding and improve the environment,” said DEP Commissioner Vincent Sapienza. “We thank Commissioner Silver and his team at NYC Parks for being such terrific partners in our efforts to make New York City a greener, more resilient place to call home.”

“For many years, Playground 52 was in major need of repair, and today it looks like a completely new playground,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP. “We wanted to make sure we rebuilt the space to fit the needs of the community, so we worked with local residents and 52 People for Progress when creating the new design. I know the community frequently uses this park for concerts and salsa dancing, so we’ve completely rebuilt the amphitheater with an open dance floor and bigger stage.”

Playground 52 has been transformed with rain gardens that will help to capture more than 780,000 gallons of stormwater each year, a new skate park, renovated basketball courts, new bleachers, and a larger, ADA-accessible amphitheater with an open dance floor. New play equipment and swings have been installed, along with a new water-efficient spray shower and security lighting to increase visibility into the park during evening hours. The comfort station has also been completely rebuilt and restored to its original brick face, and is now ADA-accessible.

“Playground 52 is a true community amenity and I am proud to have provided $1 million from my own capital budget for these critical renovations. Thanks to strong partnerships with the Department of Parks and Recreation and stakeholders at all levels, this park will be able to entertain even more Bronxites than ever before. I urge everyone to take advantage of what remains of the summer and come check out the new and improved Playground 52,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

“As your elected official and fellow Bronxite it gives me great honor to witness the revitalization of our local parks and playgrounds,” said Assembly Member Carmen Arroyo. “I stand frontline in the tireless fight for a safe modern and more vibrant community. This is one of many projects that brings the Bronx one step further from being forgotten.”

“In a district where big parks are hard to come by, smaller parks play an important role in the community, often providing places of refuge for kids in the neighborhood,” said Council Member Salamanca Jr. “Playground 52 is one of these cherished parks in my district, and its $9.5 million transformation is a celebration. I hope that the new basketball courts, seating, ADA-accessible amphitheater and new playground equipment will make Playground 52 an inviting place for the community to truly enjoy.”

DEP manages New York City’s water supply, providing more than one billion gallons of water each day to more than nine million residents, including eight million in New York City. The water is delivered from a watershed that extends more than 125 miles from the city, comprising 19 reservoirs and three controlled lakes. Approximately 7,000 miles of water mains, tunnels and aqueducts bring water to homes and businesses throughout the five boroughs, and 7,500 miles of sewer lines and 96 pump stations take wastewater to 14 in-city treatment plants. DEP has nearly 6,000 employees, including almost 1,000 in the upstate watershed. In addition, DEP has a robust capital program, with a planned $20.7 billion in investments over the next 10 years that will create up to 3,000 construction-related jobs per year. For more information, visit, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

More Information

NYC Department of Environmental Protection
Public Affairs

59-17 Junction Boulevard
19th Floor
Flushing, NY 11373

(718) 595-6600