UPPER MANHATTAN — Despite this year’s unseasonably warm winter, City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez is thinking up ways for kids to have fun uptown when the cold weather returns.
The Councilman has proposed the Parks Department refurbish a former storage building in Anne Loftus Playground into a year-round children’s recreation center, complete with activities for kids to stay warm and entertained.
And for children who are feeling a bit more adventurous, Rodriguez would like to see the department install an ice skating rink in the center of the playground, which now has spray showers in place of a former wading pool.
Rodriguez said he would like to see a rink just like the ones in Central or Bryant Park.
“We need to bring more winter activities uptown, and I think by doing something like this we could bring more people outside during the winter,” Rodriguez told DNAinfo.
The plan is in a preliminary discussion stage with the Parks Department, which presented Rodriguez with a sketch of possibilities for layout inside the children’s recreation center.
The stone building sits at the southern end of the playground, which was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted Jr., son of the co-designer of Central and Prospect Parks.
“It would allow for more space within the existing building for programming during colder weather,” Parks spokesman Phil Abramson wrote in an email, adding that the department is looking into the feasibility of adding a rink at the location.
Rodriguez said he has committed to allocating “whatever amount" of capital funding is needed for the project, but said the projected budget was yet undetermined.
The storage space in the playground, which sits at the northern edge of Fort Tryon Park on the border of Washington Heights and Inwood, was previously used by the New York Restoration Project, the nonprofit started by Bette Midler.