Roberto Clemente Playground

Roberto Clemente State Park South Playground Reopens 

By Robert Press

The Riverbank site features new playground equipment, modern climbing structures, and adult fitness stations

 The State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (State Parks), Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, New York City Council Member Vanessa Gibson, Assemblywoman dernandez and Omni New York LLC, owner of the adjacent Riverpark Towers, together announced the long-awaited reopening of the Roberto Clemente South Playground at Roberto Clemente State Park helped cut the ribbon to open the park.

“Roberto Clemente State Park is a true treasure of The Bronx and a real amenity for the residents of the surrounding community,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “Throughout the pandemic, we saw how essential it was for Bronx residents to have access to parks and outdoor spaces and I am thrilled to see this park reopen better than ever. I am always happy to support this park and its continued renovation. Since taking office in 2009, I have provided this park with $2.5 million in capital funding, including $1 million for the renovation of the south playground. It is important that we invest in parks and public spaces for our borough, and I have been proud to partner with Commissioner Kulleseid, Council Member Gibson and Omni New York on the continued revitalization of this wonderful community space.”

“It has been an honor during my tenure in the New York City Council to support efforts to invest, restore and revitalize Roberto Clemente State Park for the residents of the West Bronx,” said Council Member Vanessa L. Gibson. “I am thrilled that this summer our families will be able to take full advantage of the new playground equipment, adult fitness stations, community garden, enhanced athletic fields, and other amenities offered as part of the $1.35 million renovation of the park. COVID-19 has highlighted the need for open green spaces and I am incredibly grateful that Roberto Clemente State Park will offer that to New Yorkers across the borough. I want to thank Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., the State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, Omni New York LLC and all the advocates that pushed for these investments to rebuild our park, and I look forward to our continued partnership.” She presented a check for $500,000.00 to finish the work on the playground.

Assemblywoman Latoya Joiner also spoke about the playground. The South Playground, originally built in 1973 as an adventure playground, has been closed for nearly 20 years due to unsafe conditions. The renovated playground features new playground equipment, playground safety surfacing, modern climbing structures, adult fitness stations, shade trees and a community garden area. The playground is situated along the park’s main esplanade close to the Riverpark Towers, and its improvement will enhance the connection between the park and its largest residential neighbor.

The playground reflects the same aesthetic utilized along the newly reconstructed and adjoining esplanade – and will enhance the patron experience along the entire western edge of the park. The $1.35 million project was funded through a $1 million grant from Bronx Borough president Ruben Diaz, $500,000 from Council Member Vanessa Gibson and the final $100,000 from Omni New York LLC.

Councilwoman Vanesa Gibson and Althea Stevens candidate to replace Gibson try the new Adult fitness equipment The revitalization of the South Playground builds on the $100 million transformation of Roberto Clemente State Park that began under Governor Cuomo in 2011. Other improvements across the park include replacement of the bulkhead, rehabilitation of the main esplanade, renovation of the aquatic center, new and enhanced athletic fields, installation of a floating dock for waterfront access, revitalized basketball courts, and reconstruction of the north shoreline revetment.

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