ASTORIA — Three separate heat waves have already struck New York City this summer. But the balmy temps don't compare to how steamed parents are that the sprinkler has not been working properly at Astoria’s Hoyt Playground.
The mercury has climbed into the 90s several times over the past few weeks, but the dragon-shaped sprinkler at the playground, one of the largest in the neighborhood, has only been trickling water for the entire summer.
“It’s only been dripping a little bit, but it has not been working,” said Tiffany Himes, 33, who comes to the playground with her year-and-a-half old son Maxfield. “When it’s really hot, you can't stay here too long.”
Located near the Astoria Boulevard subway stop, Hoyt Playground attracts many children who play on its jungle gyms and slides, teenagers who use its basketball and soccer fields, and the elderly who relax on the playground’s benches.
Public park sprinklers are required to be turned on when temperatures reach 80 degrees, according to the city Parks Department.
“It’s very annoying,” said Emily Rosales, 11, who comes to the playground every day with her mother and 18-month old brother, Joshua. “I would love to play with water.”
Her mother, Guille Rosales, 35, said she was worried about kids’ safety.
“This summer is extremely hot and it’s important for children to have access to water,” she said. “It’s dangerous for them to play in the sun without the sprinkler on. I hope they will fix it before the next heat wave.”
Parents also complained about drainage around the trickling sprinkler. “It terrible,” Himes said. “It gets clogged all the time.”
A Parks Department spokesman said Wednesday that the agency planned to fix the sprinkler the next day, adding that the city has more than 600 public parks with spray showers.
"The vast majority are working, and we promptly fix any broken ones," he added.