Queens Asks Citizens How to Spend Parks Money

Queens Asks Citizens How to Spend Parks Money

Participatory planning for future green spaces. 

The newly constructed Rockaway boardwalk (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Residents of Rockaway Beach, Queens, are being asked how they want the New York City Parks Department to spend up to $120 million leftover from a federally funded boardwalk reconstruction following Hurricane Sandy, DNAInfo reports.

Nine projects along the outer borough’s beachy peninsula are eligible for the funding, officials announced at a community meeting in December. They include renovating Bayswater Park, raising the shoreline in Edgemere to mitigate flooding, adding new amenities to the Rockaway Community Park and creating a kayak launch at Thursby Basin, or a new bayside park at Beach 88th Street. The funding could also be used for new bathrooms, or for renovating the Parks Department’s maintenance headquarters.

Each project costs between $20 million and $60 million, and were all taken from the Rockaway Parks Conceptual Plan. The boardwalk project, which began construction in 2014, added a seawall and sand dunes to protect vulnerable beach-adjacent homes from future floods. It cost around $480 million — paid for by FEMA — and is set to be completed in 2017. An estimated $100 million to $120 will be left over at completion.

Residents can submit their preference to the Parks Department by Jan. 8 by emailing Alexander.Maureau@parks.nyc.gov. The agency will incorporate the feedback into their FEMA funding submission. Additional funding will likely be necessary for many of the projects.

Jen Kinney is a freelance writer and documentary photographer. Her work has also appeared in Philadelphia Magazine, High Country News online, and the Anchorage Press. She is currently a student of radio production at the Salt Institute of Documentary Studies. See her work at jakinney.com.

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Tags: new york cityparkscrowdsourcing

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