The $2 million project, funded by Borough President Melinda Katz, will begin construction in fall 2018, so the spray showers will remain open this summer.
“Families put a lot of faith in us, They take a lot of pride in being from this borough,” Katz said. “We have to make sure that our parks responds to those needs.”
The renovation will add interactive spray features that separate the smaller children with the older kids. The plan will also lower the fencing around the area, raise the grate of the interior and add color concrete.
The process began when Queens Parks Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski took a walk around the park with Katz. They looked at the nearby bocce courts when Katz noticed the condition of the spray shower.
“She said to me, ‘We need to do something about this,’” Lewandowski recalled. “We have a great opportunity to redo this space.”
Katz said she’s excited by the design because it’s flat and can be used for other activities.
Community Board 5 District Manager Gary Giordano said while Juniper Valley Park is a beautiful place, this particular portion has been “a trouble spot for a long time.”
“It’ll make it fun for not only in the summer, but for the rest of the year,” Giordano said. “Hopefully, the children will appreciate it more than anybody else.”
Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley recounted a number of improvements to the park, including the bocce courts and handball courts. The city also has work planned for the hockey rink and the track-and-field area.
“Juniper Park is a cornerstone of the Middle Village community,” Crowley said. “This park is where I as a kid developed friendships and memories that last a lifetime. So many other kids in the community can say the same.”
Though the spray shower will be shut down for construction next year, Crowley said she expects families and children to still come to the park.
“When you come here in good weather, certainly on the weekends and evenings when the kids are not in school, the park is packed,” she said. “There will be other amenities for the kids to enjoy until the sprinklers are back.”