Albany – Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan (D-Queens) is pleased to announce that two school parks in Queens have been targeted for capital improvements. Public School 199, located at 39-20 48th Avenue, and Academy for New Americans, located at 28-04 41st Avenue, were chosen as part of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s long term plan to ensure that every New Yorker lives within a ten minute walk from a park or playground. Once the school yards are renovated they will be made available to children and families during after-school hours and on weekends.
Mayor Bloomberg presented a blueprint for a greener city on Earth Day 2007, allocating $1.2 billion to the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation to expand active recreation over the next ten years. A first step in the process is to identify, improve and open 290 school yards throughout the five boroughs. $111 million has been allocated for projects beginning prior to 2010.
“Parks and playgrounds are an essential part of what makes a community a wonderful place to live. A local park is a place where neighbors talk, children play and great things happen as a result,” said Assemblywoman Nolan. “I am thrilled about this initiative because what we invest in our green spaces reflects our values. Making our existing school play yards available after school hours allows us to inspire a host of benefits by promoting physical activity and encouraging face-to-face interaction instead of remaining isolated in our homes watching television, playing video games, or surfing the Internet”.
Assemblywoman Nolan, Chair of the Assembly Committee on Education, helped secure an additional $700 million toward improving New York City Schools during the last budget cycle. She plans to continue to work with the Parks Department and the New York City Department of Education on other measures to enhance existing green space in Queens and to create new parks and playgrounds.