You are reading

Construction Begins on $6 Million Revamp of Dilapidated Flushing Playground

PHOTO: Council Member Sandra Ung paints a bench at Bland Playground during a community cleanup event in May (Photo courtesy of Council member Ung)

Jan. 12, 2023 By Christian Murray

The Parks Dept. has started work on a $6 million overhaul of Bland Playground, a gritty park located in downtown Flushing that residents say is in desperate need of an upgrade.

The playground, located at Prince Street and 40th Road, will be closed until January 2024 as the entire park is being renovated.

“Bland Playground is a popular open space in the heart of downtown Flushing, and I know it will be missed by the community and nearby NYCHA residents while it is closed,” said Council Member Sandra Ung in a statement. “However, all of that use has led to its deterioration over time, and now it is need of a complete makeover.”

The funding for the upgrade was secured in the 2020 budget by former councilmember Peter Koo, the city council, and the Queens Borough President’s office.

Koo said at the time that the park had fallen into disrepair.

“The site has been plagued for years by a variety of problems ranging from sanitation to vagrancy,” Koo said in 2020. “It’s far past time that we address these issues through a redesign and reconstruction that prioritizes the needs of the families and young people who cherish and use this rare urban recreational space.”

The revamp includes new swings and a spray area for children, as well as the reconstruction of the basketball and handball courts. There will also be a new multi-purpose area for activities such as Tai chi. That area will also include game tables and new benches.

The project will also include new play equipment on two separate playgrounds, one designed for 2- to 5-year-olds and another designed for 5- to 12-year-olds, that will be enclosed by new four-foot-high fences with gates.

Bland Playground opened to the public in the 1950s and is named in honor of James A. Bland, the famed African American folk singer and Flushing native who wrote “Carry Me Back to Old Virginny” that was the official state song of Virginia from 1940 to 1997.

The playground is located next to the Bland Houses NYCHA development, which is also named after the singer.

Rendering courtesy of Parks Department.

email the author: [email protected]

One Comment

Click for Comments 
James Lin

I would like to bring attention to a sorely neglected park that is in need of renovations. In light of all the surrounding parks in the area receiving much needed funds, and well deserved… please make note that Memorial Fields of Flushing Basketball courts has cracks and divots that makes it very dangerous for the many who call it home.. The annual tournaments that we host there were cancelled in 2022 in no small part to the fact that the court is dangerous and in need of repair. I have lived in Flushing for 40 years now and have balled at this park for the same amount of time.. religiously! I remember when they re-paved the court last… in the 90s!! PARKS DEPARTMENT! It’s time! And this time, please take out the dangerous poles that hold up the backboard and rim.. most Parks have the backboard hanging from the fences to remove this hazardous situation. If doubt that this is a popular park worthy of heavily scrutinized dollars available for renovation, please visit this park on any nice summer day at about 6:30 pm and you will see a steady stream of full court run .. and people occasionally cursing the cracks on the court that made the ball go out of bounds, or worse injuring weekend warriors of all ages with turned ankles and torn ACLs. Why don’t we go to another Park where the courts have been freshly redone? Well its about community. Several of the Park regulars have been coming to the same courts for just as long as I have.. 30-40 years to establish and maintain the ties to the community through basketball and feel a necessity to pass on the same values and wisdom to the next generation.. In our community. Now other areas of the Park have received monies to renovate the playground, softball fields, Track and Football stadium, but we are asking for the same love for the basketball court, which has not been touched for 30 years. Please don’t forget us at Memorial Fields of Flushing (149th street). Thank you. – The Mayor of Memorial Park

Reply

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Borough president hears from community members on budget needs throughout Queens

During a two-day public hearing on the mayor’s 2024 preliminary budget, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. listened to testimonies from 14 community board representatives, community stakeholders and members of the public on where the money should be spent in Queens. 

The public hearings were held both in-person and via Zoom on Monday, Jan. 30, and Tuesday, Jan. 31, at Queens Borough Hall. The testimonials will be used to develop the Queens Borough Board’s FY24 preliminary budget priorities in the coming weeks. 

‘He didn’t deserve to die’: Borough President Richards leads emotional candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards held a candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols outside Queens Borough Hall Monday, Jan. 30 after Nichols’ death at the hands of police officers in Memphis, Tenn., made national headlines for the brutality in which the officers beat him.

Almost immediately after news broke about Nichols’ death, the Memphis police officers who beat him to death were fired and charged with murder. The police department released the body cam footage of the fatal beating on Jan. 27, but many people, including some at the vigil, have refused to watch it due to its extremely graphic nature.

Queens Botanical Garden hosts Lunar New Year celebration with globally beloved Miffy

About 4,200 people joined the world-renowned beloved rabbit Miffy to ring in the Year of the Rabbit at Queens Botanical Garden’s Lunar New Year celebration on Saturday, Jan. 28. 

Queens Botanical Garden’s Lunar New Year celebration included a visit from Councilman Shekar Krishnan, who gave remarks, followed by a program of activities for all ages. Attendees enjoyed a lion dance performance, zodiac crafts, demonstrations, lucky plant sales and more. Miffy was in attendance for photos, story time and to greet children throughout the event.

Mets owner Steve Cohen hosts second community visioning session regarding development of area around Citi Field

Hundreds of community residents and leaders gathered at the Piazza Club inside Citi Field to participate in a visioning session regarding the development of a nearby 50-acre lot. This marked the second visioning session New York Mets owner Steve Cohen has hosted at Citi Field in January as he attempts to collect as much community feedback regarding the development as possible.

Attendees of the visioning session went to a series of interactive stations, sharing what mattered most to them when it came to improving the area around Citi Field, including preferred forms of year-round entertainment, ability to access different forms of transportation and attainable local jobs and training. Information and input was collected from the community in how they would like to see the lot utilized. A common theme among many of those who took part in the visioning session was the desire to see something built there that would bring a lot of economic opportunity to the community and provide year-round entertainment.

NewYork-Presbyterian Queens doctor aims to bring awareness to women’s heart health

With February marking the beginning of American Heart Month, a cardiologist from NewYork-Presbyterian Queens Hospital spoke with QNS about the importance of heart health for women.

According to attending cardiologist Dr. Joanna Troulakis, approximately 400,000 women die as a result of cardiovascular diseases each year in the United States. She noted that women have suffered more cardiovascular disease deaths than men in recent years. When it comes to heart attacks, the mortality rate for women is higher than men.

BP launches new advisory panel for youth to become civically engaged in the future of Queens

In an effort to get more young people involved in civics, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards has created a new advisory panel known as the Youth and Young Adult Council to introduce the “youngest and fiercest” community advocates to both community service and organization.

Members of the advisory body will advocate concerns through means of community engagement by participating in one of two cohorts. The first will be made up of high school representatives between the ages of 13 and 17, while the second cohort will be comprised of young adults between the ages of 18 and 25.

‘Where do we go now?’ Michaels set to close its doors in Fresh Meadows next month

The Michaels located at 187-04 Horace Harding Expwy. in Fresh Meadows will be permanently closing its doors on Feb. 23. The announcement that Michaels will be leaving the Fresh Meadows Shopping Center has led to an outpouring of reactions from many community members.

“We know this is disappointing to our customers in Queens, but we hope to continue to serve them at our other locations in New York City or online at Michaels.com,” a spokesperson for Michaels said in a statement to Patch.com.