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NYC Parks To Receive $150M In City Funds For Improvements


Mayor Bill de Blasio, Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, and NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver announced the new Anchor Parks initiative, which will invest $150M for major improvements—including new soccer fields, running tracks and hiking trails—for one park in each borough. 

Each park will receive $30M in improvements and was picked on three qualifications: historical under-investment, high surrounding population and development potential.

The Parks Department will be performing community outreach this fall to determine what improvements will be brought to each park.

Named for the “stabilizing, centering force” they provide for their communities, the five parks—the South Bronx’s Saint Mary’s Park, Manhattan’s Highbridge Park (pictured), Brooklyn’s Betsy Head Park, Queens' Astoria Park and Staten Island’s Freshkills Park (a former landfill that, when completed, will be the largest park developed in NYC in over a century)—are within walking distance for more than 750,000 New Yorkers, the mayor's office said. 

Melissa called the parks “great equalizers,” and extolled the investment as a sign that all New Yorkers deserve quality outdoor spaces. "Anchor parks" could potentially serve as amenities for commercial developments nearby, so enterprising investors are likely already scouring listings to see what they can snatch up.