September 17, 2016
State Parks Press Office:
Randy Simons | Dan Keefe
(518) 486-1868 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Refreshed courts will be a hub for local youth basketball programming
The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (State Parks), the Long Island City Youth Sports League and community partners, today celebrated the grand opening of a $568,000 renovation of the basketball and handball courts at Gantry Plaza State Park. The renovated athletic facility was made possible through Governor Cuomo's NY Parks 2020 program as well as $150,000 in funding from The Coca-Cola Company and a partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association.
The project at the complex on 48th Avenue in Queens included replacing the play surface for the three basketball courts, installing new posts, backboards, hoops and nets, repairing and repainting the seating wall, repairing fencing and drainage systems, as well as additional repairs and fencing for four handball courts.
"I am grateful to our partners for working with New York State Parks to provide a modern and well-designed basketball destination for the community," said Leslie Wright, New York City Regional Director for State Parks. "We look forward to continuing to work with them to make Gantry Plaza an active hub for local youth basketball programs and address community demand for more basketball."
To mark the opening of the new facility, the Long Island City Youth Sports League offered a day-long series of basketball clinics for youth in grades 1-7. State Parks will also be teaming up with Coca-Cola to offer expand youth basketball programs at Gantry Plaza State Park next summer.
"We are thrilled to be a part of this exciting celebration, which recognizes our commitment to improving parks and recreation facilities nationwide," said Barbara Tulipane, NRPA President and CEO. "Undoubtedly, the improvements made at Gantry Plaza State Park will make a positive difference in the community — providing additional opportunities for all people to gather and spend time outdoors in their local park."
"Coca-Cola is committed to strengthening communities by refreshing parks and other spaces where neighbors and families can have fun together," said Bobby Neemar, Maspeth, Queens Plant Manager for Coca-Cola Refreshments. "The restored Gantry Plaza basketball courts demonstrate the positive impact we can make when working with government and the community to achieve a common goal."
"Though I love my home at the gymnasium at PS78Q, I'm really excited to finally get a chance to teach and play with the kids of Long Island City on the beautiful new 48th Avenue courts at Gantry Plaza State Park. I've got some new drills and games especially for the occasion," said Coach Nnamdi Ameneche of the Long island City Youth Sports League."
"These newly renovated basketball courts will be a hub for the community," said Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer. "The courts will allow residents of all ages to play and exercise, keeping our community active and healthy. I look forward to working with the New York State Parks department and local Long Island City partners to make sure that these newly renovated courts continue to be a jewel of Gantry Plaza State Park."
"When our community has access to improved facilities, there are additional opportunities for kids and families to stay active," said Senator Michael N. Gianaris. "I am glad to celebrate these renovations and look forward to shooting hoops on these new courts with my fellow LIC residents."
"These much needed repairs to Gantry State Park were essential," said Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan. "Thank you to community leaders, Queens Community Board 2, my colleagues in government, Governor Andrew Cuomo, NYS Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey, Regional Director Leslie Wright for their support for these improvements. I will continue to advocate for safety improvements so the courts have a more minimal impact on the neighboring community."
The Governor's NY Parks 2020 program is a multi-year commitment to leverage $900 million in private and public funding for State Parks from 2011 to 2020. The 2016-17 State Budget allocates $90 million toward this initiative.
New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees 180 state parks and 35 historic sites, which are visited by 65 million people annually. For more information on any of these recreation areas, call 518-474-0456 or visit www.nysparks.com, connect on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.
The Long Island City Youth Sports League (LICYSL.org) is a non-profit organization set up to utilize the public school gyms and Parks Department playing fields in Long Island City.