You are reading

‘Better than ever’: Community leaders celebrate completion of Bowne Park renovations

May. 4, 2023 By Ethan Marshall

Queens Community members and leaders on May 4 gathered at John Bowne Park to celebrate the completion of renovations that had been approximately seven years in the works. Among the notable Queens leaders on hand were NYC Parks Queens Borough Commissioner Jackie Langsam, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, Councilwoman Vickie Paladino, Community Board 7 Chair Gene Kelty and former Council member and current Deputy Commissioner of the New York City Department of Veterans’ Services Paul Vallone.

“Parks are important, as they help us grow, give us a place to play and relax, bring neighbors together and connect us through a shared history that forms the building blocks of our community,” Langsam said. “We are glad that the community will get to enjoy this park for many years to come. Thank you Queens Borough President Donovan Richards and to Council Member Paladino, who saw this project to the finish line and to former Council member Vallone for initiating this project.”


Photo courtesy of Daniel Avila/NYC Parks

In addition to the park’s playground being renovated a few years ago, two capital projects have now been completed. The first project was for the reconstruction of the Bowne Park Plaza and rebuilding the existing bocce courts and adding new bistro tables, benches, chairs and decorative favors. This project was made possible by Mayor Adams and the City Council, who provided $1.1 million in funding for it.


Photo by Ethan Marshall

The second project, with an estimated cost of $2.5 million, was to renovate the pond to improve its water quality. Also funded by the City Council and mayor’s office, the project included a new aeration system to deter harmful algae blooms, the removal of accumulated sediment from the pond’s bottom, a new water pump that allows for the use of ground water, stone wall edge repairs and adding two turtle islands at the middle of the pond.


Photo courtesy of Daniel Avila/NYC Parks

“It’s been a long time coming,” Richards said. “But now the park is back bigger and better than ever. I want to thank my colleagues and the parks department. To the families and community, thank you. We all know John Bowne Park is one of the beautiful hidden gems in our borough.”

Richards also made it a point to celebrate Vallone for kick-starting the project back when he was a Council member and Paladino for seeing that it was completed. According to Paladino, checking in on where things stood in regards to the project was one of the first things she did upon taking office in January 2021.

“I brought the Parks Department in within the first seven days of my being in office,” Paladino said. “The visit was to talk about the park we have right here, right now. We took the meetings, set up the construction company, we understood what was going on. Any kind of permits that needed to be had we made sure was had. We tackled everything from the construction of this pond. When we got to the bottom of all the delays, we fixed it and moved forward. I stand here proudly with my colleagues and office staff. We did this together.”


Photo by Ethan Marshall

In addition to overseeing the completion of the project, Paladino also allocated $5,000 to the Bowne Park Civic Association for the planting of a new spruce tree at the park.

“My family is always here and my kids grew up here,” Vallone said. “When I was in office, we made John Bowne Park the shining jewel. You all came and made that happen. To every one of the park presidents, community board members, civic leaders and families, you all came and to this day didn’t stop.”

Following a ribbon-cutting to celebrate all the work’s completion, many of the community leaders went to the new bocce court for a quick game before viewing the new spruce tree.

John Bowne Park was acquired by Parks on June 1, 1925. It made headlines on June 10, 1969, as the first park in the city with an instant playground, providing ready-made modular playground equipment to communities lacking adequate recreational facilities.

Recent News

Urgent manhunt underway for ‘animal’ who allegedly raped a 13-year-old girl in Flushing park on Thursday: NYPD

The NYPD announced a $10,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to the arrest of a Hispanic man who allegedly raped a 13-year-old girl in a wooded area of Kissena Corridor Park on Thursday afternoon.

More than sixty investigators were at the crime scene late into the night. During a press briefing by NYPD brass on Friday, Chief of Department Jeffrey Maddrey said that the manhunt was expanded city-wide and that the department would spare no expense until the suspect was apprehended.

Southeast Queens man arraigned on weapons charges after cops search his ‘ghost car’ near LaGuardia Airport: DA

A Hollis man was criminally charged after police discovered a cache of weapons in his vehicle during a traffic stop. He was pulled over for driving a “ghost car” with obscured license plates in East Elmhurst near LaGuardia Airport during the early morning hours of June 12.

Judd Sanson, 27, of Jamaica Avenue, was ordered held without bail after he was arraigned in Queens Criminal Court on Thursday afternoon on a criminal complaint charging him with multiple counts of weapons possession, unlawful possession of pistol or revolver ammunition, and unlawful use of a police uniform or emblem and other crimes after the arsenal was found in his SUV.

Man sought for raping 13-year-old girl in Flushing park in broad daylight Thursday: NYPD

An urgent manhunt is underway in Northeast Queens after a Hispanic man allegedly raped a 13-year-old girl at knifepoint in Kissena Corridor Park in broad daylight on Thursday afternoon.

Police from the 109th Precinct in Flushing reported that the youngster was with a 13-year-old boy in the park near Kalmia Avenue and Colden Street at around 3:30 p.m. when a stranger approached and threatened them with a knife, forcing them both into a wooded section where he tied them up. The perpetrator proceeded to forcibly remove their cell phones before sexually assaulting the girl, police said, adding that he fled in an unknown direction.