NYC Parks Queens Borough Commissioner Michael Dockett today joined Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, and Queens Community Board 2 District Manager Debra Markell Kleinert to unveil the brand new sports and children’s play areas at General Hart Playground in Woodside.
“With these new upgrades, General Hart Playground is now better equipped to meet Woodside’s recreational needs,” said Commissioner Dockett. “I’m thrilled to unveil these new amenities that will serve the children, families, and residents of the surrounding communities for years to come. We’re grateful to the Borough President’s Office and Council Member Van Bramer for their continued support and dedication to providing New Yorkers with equitable, open greenspaces.”
“General Hart Playground is a vitally important community resource for the residents of Woodside, so I’m very pleased that it now offers the use of these high-quality and exciting play and sports areas,” said Queens Borough President Donovan Richards. “Queens residents deserve access to first-class recreational space, and this reconstruction of the play and sports areas at General Hart Playground has succeeded in bringing such a space to Woodside. It was a great privilege to be a part of making this important project a reality.”
“I’ve funded major renovations in nearly every single park in my district. Hart Playground had not been renovated in decades and was in much need of a top to bottom renovation,” said Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer. “I’m proud to have allocated nearly $2 million for this $3.5 million project. Every park user deserves to have amenities they can be excited to use. The beautiful renovations were made with the input of community members, and I’m pleased to see those suggestions manifested in the final project.”
The project reconstructed the children’s play area at General Hart Playground with brand new play equipment, swings, and a spray shower. This revitalized community space now boasts new painted games, pathways, and benches. The sports area was revamped with new full and half-sized basketball courts, a volleyball court, drinking fountain with bottle fillers, and enhanced landscaping. In addition, a new accessible entrance was constructed on 65th street to provide seamless transition into the park.
The $3.2 million General Hart Playground project was funded with $1.82 million from City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, and $1.38 million from former Borough President Melinda Katz with continued support from Borough President Donovan Richards.
This playground is named for Brigadier General Joseph T. Hart (1902-1962), an Elmhurst resident, who led a distinguished career in military and civilian life. Hart Park was acquired by Parks in 1954 as part of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway construction. It was opened to the public by Commissioner Robert Moses on October 11, 1956. The space was named for General Hart in 1964 by the City Council, and was upgraded with new playground equipment, safety In 1996, the park was upgraded with new playground equipment, safety surfacing, and benches by a capital project funded by Councilmember John D. Sabini.