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MAP: Dozens of Queens Parks Will Get Share of $32M From Borough President

 The Astoria Heights Playground is one of more than 30 across Queens that will get a portion of $32 million in funds from Borough President Melinda Katz.
The Astoria Heights Playground is one of more than 30 across Queens that will get a portion of $32 million in funds from Borough President Melinda Katz.
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DNAinfo/Jeanmarie Evelly

QUEENS — Borough President Melinda Katz has doled out $32 million in capital funds to renovate and build up the borough’s “jewels”— its parks.

The money will be spread across 37 greenspaces in Queens and is more than has been allocated in the last three fiscal years combined, an official said.

“Parks are the jewels of our neighborhoods,” Katz said in a statement. 

“Part of what defines Queens’ trademark quality of life — especially for the 2.3 million residents throughout our diverse communities — is the ample access to beautiful public parks and open space.”

The largest amount, $3 million, will go towards preserving the New York State Pavilion, built for the 1964 World’s Fair, at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.

Another $2 million will go towards renovating the asphalt field at the park’s World’s Fair Playground, and $480,000 will replace the marsh bridge and the aviary mesh at the Queens Zoo.

Several parks in Jamaica will receive more than $1 million each in funding. Baisley Pond Park will get $1.5 million to upgrade its running track and athletic court and $2 million will be allocated to modernize the existing benches and equipment in Norelli Hargreaves Park.

Roy Wilkins Park will receive $1.5 million for turf and track improvements.

Katz also provided $322,000 for a new skate park at Laurelton Playground, which had been suggested by local skaters. 

Woodhaven’s Forest Park, which is currently undergoing a nearly $7.7 million renovation, will receive an additional $500,000 for a new walking path to the George Seuffert Bandshell, where free concerts take place throughout the summer.

Elsewhere in the borough, Katz distributed $300,000 to enhance tree plantings along the Northern Boulevard Mall between 62nd and 102nd streets in Woodside and Jackson Heights.

In Astoria, Katz allocated $1 million to renovate the Hallets Cove Playground, a waterfront play space off Vernon Boulevard near the Astoria Houses.

She’s also provided $800,000 to improve parts of Rainey Park, another waterfront park further south, near Vernon Boulevard and 33rd Road, where the funds will improve the picnic grove with new grills, install new fences and benches and renovate the basketball courts.

The borough president will also contribute $500,000 for upgrades at the Astoria Heights Playground, where parents have complained about cracked and buckling asphalt and outdated play equipment.

Katz’s funds will be used to install benches, repair fences and gates and redesign the playground and relocate the adult fitness equipment. The upgrades will be part of a larger $3.29 million makeover planned for the park, which is located at 45th Street and 30th Road.

She is also providing $500,000 for the construction of a new dog run at the Triborough Playground, underneath the Triborough Bridge, where local dog owners have been pushing to build a space for their pups to play.