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Revamp of Little Bush Playground to Begin in April

Little Bush Park at 63rd Street and Laurel Hill Boulevard (NYC ZoLa)

By Michael Dorgan

The $3.2 million revamp of Woodside’s Little Bush Playground is set to commence next month, the Parks Dept. has announced.

The less-than-an-acre park at Laurel Hill Boulevard and 63rd Street will be re-imagined with play areas, gathering spaces and a reconstructed basketball court.

It will be the first time the park has seen significant upgrades since the 1990s and construction is expected to take 12 months to complete, the agency said.

NYC Parks said that the plans the agency presented to Queens Community Board 2 in November 2018 are essentially the same and the project’s goals have not changed.

Those plans consist of bringing new creative play areas for children of all ages and abilities, improving seating and gathering spaces for families and caregivers and improving the park’s overall circulation and layout.

In the updated play area, the swings will be relocated along the Laurell Hill Boulevard side of the park from its current sitting along 63rd Street.

Along with bucket and strap swings, a new wheelchair accessible swing will be installed.

Play areas designed for kids in two age groups will go south of the swings. The current slide and playhouses will be replaced with an expanded, improved and accessible play unit for children ages 5 to 12. A new slide will be included, along with a netted, spiral climbing structure.

Next to the new play structure will be a smaller area where kids between 2 and 5 years can interact with age-appropriate equipment.

Over in the spray shower area on the southeast end of the park, the camel sprinklers will be replaced by new ground sprays that will be programmed to release water either in three modes.

The new sprinkler layout will allow people to walk through the area when the sprinklers aren’t in use.

The park will also get a major splash of color. The current asphalt paving throughout the park will be covered with a green sealcoat, with the concrete in the upgraded spray area to be colored in yellow.

Little Bush Park Playground Reconstruction Schematic, NYC Parks)

The basketball court at the corner of 64th Street and Laurel Hill Boulevard will also be reconstructed with polycarbonate backboards and a new brown floor surface area.

The tall fence separating the court from the rest of the park, meanwhile, will be removed to create a more open environment.

The seating area immediately adjacent to the basketball court will also be outfitted with secured chairs and concrete tables.

NYC Parks is also proposing to install three bicycle racks at the park’s two entrances on 64 Street and 63rd Street while the Laurel Hill Boulevard entrance is set to close.

The park’s lighting structures throughout will be updated with brighter and stronger LED lights, and the park’s pitted areas will be planted with perennials and shrubs.

Funding for the renovations came from a collaboration between City Council, who are allocating $3 million and Mayor Bill De Blasio’s office, with $252,000.

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Lori Connell

I understand what they are getting at with removing the tall fence separating the b-ball court from the rest of the park, but think that might be misguided: the tall safety fence prevents runaway balls from striking the little guys in the adjacent area. A toddler getting hit with a fast and heavy basket ball can sustain quite an impact – they don’t have the quicker agility at that age to duck an incoming hit. Just a thought…

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