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Playground Renamed 'The Big Park' Because, Well, That's What It Is

By Aidan Gardiner | April 14, 2017 2:44pm | Updated on April 16, 2017 7:47pm

The city officially renamed a popular three-acre Staten Island playground simply The Big Park, the same moniker locals have used for years, officials said.

The park, neé Grandview Playground, got its new name Thursday during a groundbreaking ceremony for a $4.5 million renovation that will bring cooling spray towers, larger ball courts, safer playground equipment and bioswales to capture rain that will water the park's greenery, officials said.

"For many years, this community fondly referred to Grandview Playground and its surrounding fields and courts as The Big Park," said Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver in a statement. "Today, we officially embrace that name."

The Mariners Harbor park is just more than three acres, according to its website. By comparison, Central Park is 840 acres and the under-construction Freshkills Park will be 2,200 acres.

Despite it's modest footprint, the park stands out in its neighborhood. Mariners Harbor is dotted with smaller patches of green, so locals simply referred to Grandview as The Big Park, according to Charles Fall, chief of staff at the Parks department.

"Grandview park was really the biggest park in the community," Fall said.

The renovation is part of a citywide investment in 35 small parks by Mayor Bill de Blasio, officials said.

In 2015, Parks officials began surveying locals to find out what they wanted in the park and what should be removed. But often when they asked about Grandview Playground, locals would look at them confused, Fall said.

"Oh, you mean the Big Park?" they'd finally say, according to Fall.

"No one really acknowledged it as Grandview park," Fall said.

After the community meetings, Parks took residents' ideas to design the upgrades to The Big Park, officials said.

"The renovations we're making are based on input from the community and will bring the neighborhood's vision to life," Silver said. 

Falls said the renaming was just another example of city officials listening to locals.

Officials expect renovations to be finished in 2018.