NYC Parks Without Borders Celebrates a Transformation at Jackie Robinson Park




Jackie Robinson Park. Image credit: NYC Parks/Daniel Avila

NYC Parks today unveiled the completion of a $4.7 million transformation at Jackie Robinson Park in Harlem. This is the second showcase project completed through the Parks Without Borders Initiative, funded by Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Jackie Robinson Park. Photo credit: NYC Parks/Daniel Avila

“Parks Without Borders focuses on enhancing our open spaces by improving the connections between parks and neighborhoods. This is especially important for parks like Jackie Robinson, which play such a vital role in the surrounding community,” said Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP. “Thanks to Mayor de Blasio’s OneNYC funding for this placemaking initiative, we have transformed the experience for parkgoers enjoying this public space for many years to come.”

Jackie Robinson Park, nominated for Parks Without Borders (PWB) by the community, underwent a $4.7 million upgrade featuring reconstructed entrances, paths, and stairways at multiple locations to improve access and beautify the park’s southern and northern edges. The project also added new plantings, fencing, and benches along Edgecombe Avenue — currently a DOT Open Streets location. The park now features a restored pathway that connects a reopened entrance to an updated plaza with new seating and lighting.

Jackie Robinson Park. Photo credit: NYC Parks/Daniel Avila

Parks Without Borders, part of OneNYC, was announced in November 2015 with a call for community involvement. NYC Parks asked New Yorkers to nominate sites that would benefit the most from a PWB improvement project. Utilizing an online survey and 37 conferences with citizens, Parks received more than 6,000 nominations for 691 parks—approximately 30 percent of our parks. The eight selected showcase projects, sharing $40 million in funding from Mayor de Blasio, were revealed in May 2016; and an additional $10 million has been applied to another 40 capital projects in progress.

Jackie Robinson Park is the second completed PWB project. The other projects are: Fort Greene Park and Prospect Park (Brooklyn); Van Cortlandt Park and Hugh Grant Circle / Virginia Park and Playground (Bronx); Seward Park (Manhattan); Faber Park (Staten Island); and Flushing Meadows Corona Park (Queens)

Jackie Robinson Park. Photo credit: NYC Parks/Daniel Avila

Providing ten blocks of resources, Jackie Robinson Park is a Harlem jewel. The park opened as a playground in 1911. Originally called Colonial Park, it was renamed for legendary baseball player Jackie Robinson in 1978. One of four spaces designated Historic Harlem Parks, the park is noted for its strong connection with the community.

Take a look back at the first NYC Parks, ‘Parks Without Borders’ in Seward Park in January, 2020.