BY JON CRONIN
The landscape of DeVoy Playgound in Forest Park changed drastically after many trees were cut down inside and around the playground last Thursday, in preparation for its $1.4 million upgrade.
A NYC Parks Department spokesperson said the two large oaks “both with defects,” were cut down at the center of the playground, at Union Turnpike and 71st Avenue, and many other invasive trees were removed from the perimeter. The goal of the project is to provide accessibility to all areas of the site, with universal play components for children up to the age of 12.
Frank Gulluscio, Community Board 6 district manager, stated that the community and local officials have been rallying for this upgrade for years.
“It’s a great improvement. It will lighten it up and make it even more kid friendly,” he said.
Megan Lalor, a Parks spokesperson, said that the new playground’s “design and play equipment is designed to be sensitive to the existing site conditions by preserving the tree root systems, tree canopy, and sloping terrain, while providing for more engaging and activated play that moves circuitously throughout the site.”
She noted that “colors and materials of play equipment have been selected to reflect the earth’s tones and forested aspect of the site, while the components and design of the equipment provide for the most play value possible. Existing features, such as the wood climbing logs and animal sculptures, will be preserved, and music play will be introduced.”
Lalor added that the park’s main entrance will be “re-graded and the entrance gate will be replaced with one that allows for better access to the site.” There will also be a new drinking fountain, additional seating, accessible swings, and a new tire swing.
The work will be begin at the end of this month and will conclude in June 2017.
Gulluscio noted that the playground was named in 2000 after long-time Forest Hills resident Joe DeVoy, who lived across the street from the park and looked after the playground like it was his own.
Reach reporter Jon Cronin at 718-357-7400 x125, firstname.lastname@example.org or @JonathanSCronin