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City to Start Repairs at 'Shady Park' to Fix Hurricane Sandy Damage

 More than half of the popular Andrews Grove playground in Hunters Point has been shuttered since Sandy.
Repairs to Start at Shuttered 'Shady Park'
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HUNTERS POINT — The city will start making repairs next week at Andrews Grove in Long Island City, where a large portion of the playground has been fenced off since it was damaged during Hurricane Sandy last fall.

The park, at 49th Avenue between 5th Street and Vernon Boulevard, is a popular spot for families and children in Hunters Point. It's nicknamed "Shady Park," by locals because of the tall, stately trees that used to cast shadows there — more than half a dozen of which were toppled by Sandy.

A Parks Department spokesman said the planned repair work will start Monday, and includes fixing playground equipment and safety surfaces, asphalt and fencing. It will take about a month to finish, depending on the weather, the spokesman said.

"We are glad they are starting," Sheila Lewandowski, who started the neighborhood group Friends of Shady Park, said in an e-mail.

Lewandowski and other residents have been working with the Parks Department, City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, State Sen. Michael Gianaris and Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan to advocate for the park's fixes.

She said the next step will be selecting and planting replacement trees in the park, a project funded by a grant secured by Van Bramer.

The group is looking for a species that will grow to the same height as the park's former trees and offer the same type of shade, and are working to secure either Silver Lindens, Pin Oaks, Honey Locust and Japanese Zelkova trees, Lewandowski said.

No set date has been set for the tree re-planting, though officials said it will happen sometime after the playground repairs are completed.

"We will replant new trees and begin the process of restoring the shade that was lost after the hurricane," Van Bramer said in a statement.