Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Press Release

January 03, 2019

Randy Simons | Dan Keefe
(518) 486-1868 |

Popular Roberto Clemente State Park South Playground to Reopen

State Parks, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, NYC Council Member Vanessa Gibson and Partners Team Together to Revitalize and Transform Playground Serving Nearly 1 Million Visitors

View the South Playground Transformation Here

The State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (State Parks), Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, New York City Council Member Vanessa Gibson and Omni New York LLC, owner of the adjacent Riverpark Towers, together announced a $1.35 million transformation of the Roberto Clemente State Park South Playground. The currently shuttered playground will receive new playground equipment, playground safety surfacing, rehabilitation of its existing climbing structures, full replacement of existing utility infrastructure, adult fitness equipment, preservation of existing shade trees and a community garden area.

"Access to playgrounds encourage us to get outside and connect with each other and nature," said State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey. "We are extremely grateful to our partners in this playground transformation, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Council Member Vanessa Gibson and Omni New York LLC for helping our families strengthen their love for the outdoors through recreation that builds upon our social bonds."

"Roberto Clemente State Park is a true treasure of The Bronx and a real amenity for the residents of the surrounding community, especially the residents of River Park Towers," said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. "I am always happy to support this park and its continued renovation. Since taking office in 2009 I have provided this park with $2.5 million in capital funding, including $1 million for the renovation of the south playground. It is important that we invest in parks and public spaces for our borough, and I have been proud to partner with Commissioner Harvey, Council Member Gibson and Omni New York on the continued revitalization of this wonderful community space."

The playground, expected to reopen in 2019, will reflect the same aesthetic utilized along the newly reconstructed and adjoining esplanade, improve the patron experience along the entire western edge of the park, and improve the functionality within this space which has been closed for many years. The entire $1.35 million project is funded through a $1 million commitment from Bronx Borough president Ruben Diaz, $250,000 from Council Member Vanessa Gibson and the final $100,000 from Omni New York LLC.

"I am proud to have supported Roberto Clemente State Park during my tenure at the New York City Council with a cumulative total investment of $1,250,000," said City Council Member Vanessa Gibson. "After Hurricane Sandy, it was more critical than ever to provide the necessary investments to rebuild this park, and I cannot wait until our families enjoy the new playground and fitness equipment, as well as our open green spaces. With our $250,000 investment, I join with Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., and Omni New York LLC, in unveiling the plan for the Roberto Clemente State Park South Playground. Our beautiful state park is our recreational gem of the Bronx and I'm so thankful for the commitment and efforts of State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey, State Parks NYC Regional Director Leslie Wright, Roberto Clemente Park Director Frances Rodriguez and the hardworking team who have been strong advocates in revitalizing our park, enhancing community programs and building partnerships with all stakeholders. I look forward to our continued work together and the future ribbon cutting of the South Playground."

"We want to thank State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz and Council Member Vanessa Gibson for making the renovation of this community asset a priority. This could not have happened without their passion and dedication to this community," said Eugene Schneur, Managing Director of Omni New York LLC.

The revitalization of the South Playground is the latest project under the $90 million transformation of Roberto Clemente State Park that began under Governor Cuomo in 2011. Other improvements across the park include replacement of the bulkhead, rehabilitation of the main esplanade, renovation of the aquatic center, new and enhanced athletic fields, installation of a floating dock for waterfront access, revitalized basketball courts, and reconstruction of the north shoreline revetment. The park transformation is expected to be complete in 2019.

The South Playground project supports the community's desire to renovate and reopen this playground to provide a safe and welcoming area. The South Playground was built in 1973 as an adventure playground and is nestled close to the Riverpark Towers along the park's main esplanade. This playground presents a welcome respite within a park that is largely programmed with very active sports uses.