Seward Park, home of America’s first municipal playground, has a lot going for it. But could it be improved? Members of the Seward Park Conservancy say, “Yes!” This is why they’re pushing hard for new city funding through a competition called Parks Without Borders.
Last week, officials with the Parks Department came to Community Board 3’s Parks Committee meeting to help local residents envision how the public space could be transformed. The $40 million NYC initiative is meant to enhance the connections between local parks and surrounding communities. Through the elimination of high fences, the renovation of adjacent spaces and other design innovations, “Parks Without Borders” seeks to improve accessibility.
The Seward Park Conservancy was at the meeting in force, encouraging locals to vote for Seward Park in an online poll. They also passed out a brochure to get people thinking about what might be possible; the renderings included here are just ideas, nothing official. If the Lower East Side is chosen, the Parks Department will return to the community board for a full-scale visioning session. In the brochure, the conservancy suggested:
–Transforming the plaza in from of the public library, greening the space and offering accessibility to the rest of the park.
–Renovating Straus Square on East Broadway, creating a new gateway to the park and removing fencing.
–Revitalizing the promenade along Essex Street, including the broken-down Schiff Fountain.
If you would like to vote for Seward Park, follow this link. You have until Feb. 28. The Parks Department hopes to announce the winning projects in the spring.