By Lisa Kava
The Anibal Aviles Playground, located on West 108th Street, between Columbus and Amsterdam, will soon be undergoing an extensive renovation, and the Parks Department is inviting the community to share ideas about the design.
A virtual meeting, which will be open to the public, is planned for Monday, April 25th, from 6:30-8PM. Advance registration is required. You can register here https://www.nycgovparks.org/reg/community-input-meetings/12569
“The community input meeting is the first step in the design phase of our capital projects,” a spokesperson for the Parks Department explained. “Construction is anticipated to start in late 2023, pending successful procurement results.”
The Anibal Aviles Playground is one of three parks in Manhattan that was selected by former Mayor de Blasio and Parks Commissioner Gabrielle Fialkoff, to be part of the Community Parks Initiative (CPI.) CPI, run by the NYC Parks Department, was founded in 2014 with the goal of improving neighborhood parks (which include playgrounds) with the greatest needs, which have previously been neglected. The parks chosen are located in high-density, low-income areas, according to the Parks Dept. press release explaining the program. Ten parks were selected in total throughout the five boroughs.
In October 2021, de Blasio and Fialkoff announced $425.5 million in new funding for the CPI over the next ten years. Ten parks will be chosen to receive funding and renovation through CPI, according to the plan. After the April 25th meeting regarding the Anibal Aviles Playground, the Parks Department will open an online comment site through the registration link above. Those who are unable to attend the virtual meeting, but who wish to offer suggestions and share thoughts about the playground’s improvement, will be able to comment on the site.
“You are welcome to offer your ideas on how this park should be improved to better serve the community. With this input, we will develop a plan that will be presented to the Community Board 7 Parks Committee for public review in a few months,” the event flyer reads.
The Anibal Aviles Playground is named after Anibal Aviles (1947-1966), a young athlete who grew up on West 109th Street, and captained the basketball and track teams at nearby J.H.S. 54, where he attended school Aviles left school to enlist in the United States Marine Corps and was sadly killed fighting in the Vietnam War in March 1966.
The Bloomingdale playground at 104th and Amsterdam is stellar; use it as a model.
I don’t agree the Bloomingdale playground is “stellar” at all, the sight lines are terrible (you can’t watch a young child) and it’s crammed with every possible kind of boring play structure. Overstuffed & too much money was spent.
Bloomingdale is the closest playground to our apt and it needed a little refreshing, it didn’t need to have trees cut down.
Plant more trees and flowers.
Plant many more trees between the playground and the Avenue to cut down fumes, noise and visual pollution and help clean the air for the children.
For the safety of the kids, please keep it with only one entrance. Keep sight lines clear so parents can easily see where their kids are.
Keep ALL of the established trees. Not only are they beautiful, they bring much needed nature to an area of concrete and asphalt, and they bring much needed shade to the playground. It’s a beautiful experience for kids to be shaded from the hot sun by trees.
Please keep it shaded with the trees, and parents sight lines in mind – I agree that the Bloomingdale’s playground is a nightmare when watching your kid – too many nooks and crannies. PLEASE KEEP/UPGRADE the SPRINKLER!