Field Would Address Issue of Flooding
by Henrick A. Karoliszyn
Oct 23, 2008 | 741 views | 0 0 comments | 30 30 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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Thomas Atella of the Parks Department speaks about plans for Grover Cleveland Park.
Forget the stock market.

What Community Board 5 is concerned with these days has little to do with the wilting Dow Jones Industrial and everything to do with mending flood-related issues affecting the district.

Last Wednesday night's monthly board meeting held at Christ the King High School included discussion of a “Top 30 Emergency” list, which placed failed sewers, blocked catch basins, and a new park designed to minimize storm runoff as part of the top five concerns.

A proposal for Grover Cleveland Park by the Parks Department kicked off the meeting. Thomas Atella, a department rep, first spoke about a synthetic turf scheduled for the park along with volleyball courts, planted trees and a sturdy fence along the parameter.

Then he spoke of additional structural changes that will comprise of a draining system to feed water back into the ground beneath the field.

"Currently all the water that falls within this site goes out in the street," said Atella. "This design will significantly reduce that."

The proposed field will carry a draining shock pad and innovative filtering panels below sections of the synthetic turf. This will absorb excess water caused by heavy rain instead of letting it to flow onto the pavement.

"We'll be putting water back into the ground and where it should be," said Atella.

When it reaches maximum capacity it will be released from the system.

Other plans touted by the Parks Department include revamping the eastern portion of the Juniper Park Playground for kids. Nancy Prince and Lee Ann Beauchamp from Parks revealed proposals for the playground at the meeting.

Beauchamp said the department had an official meeting then another with a group of mothers who spent time in the playground and came up with goals for the designs.

"The first was to provide separate unit spheres especially for tots two and under," she said.

Other goals include installing equipment to provide a "circuit experience" and adding more entrances into the park.

In the past it used to be a swamp, which, Beauchamp said, will play a role in the area's future.

"We're going to bring a little bit of wetland back to the playground," said Beauchamp.

A spray shower, misters for kids, a planted area for vegetation, a sandbox, and two picnic tables will make up the throwback transformation.

Pieces of equipment tailored for the two-and-under group and others for the 2 to 5-year-old set will also be available.

JoAnne Amagrande, chief of staff for Parks in Queens, thanked Councilman Anthony Como for securing money for the project.

"He went forward with this design," she said.

Speaking of Como, when the board began wrapping up the meeting at around 9 p.m., Como walked through the door flanked by State Senator Serphin Maltese and armed with an announcement.

The councilman, who is running for re-election in November against Elizabeth Crowley, said he was delayed because he was busy receiving the "Lab of Knowledge Award" for securing $200,000 for P.S. 58 in Maspeth.

Also known as the School of Heroes the facility is relatively new, but as far as technology goes is a bit behind.

"Even though the school is only seven years old their computers are already outdated," said Como. "The Board of Ed had decided that it was easier to get rid of them than to just update them and service them."

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