Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Press Release

June 16, 2021

Dan Keefe | Brian Nearing
(518) 486-1868 |

Roberto Clemente State Park South Playground Reopens

Site features new playground equipment, modern climbing structures, and adult fitness stations


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 the long-awaited reopening of the Roberto Clemente South Playground at Roberto Clemente State Park.

"It's great to be celebrating the return of summer and reconnecting with friends and family after a long and difficult year – and there may be no better way to do so that to open a renewed playground in the community," said State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid. "We are extremely grateful to our partners for their commitment to Bronx families and seeing the importance of connecting children to the outdoors and healthy, active recreation."

"Roberto Clemente State Park is a true treasure of The Bronx and a real amenity for the residents of the surrounding community," said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. "Throughout the pandemic, we saw how essential it was for Bronx residents to have access to parks and outdoor spaces and I am thrilled to see this park reopen better than ever. 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 Kulleseid, Council Member Gibson and Omni New York on the continued revitalization of this wonderful community space."

"It has been an honor during my tenure in the New York City Council to support efforts to invest, restore and revitalize Roberto Clemente State Park for the residents of the West Bronx," said Council Member Vanessa L. Gibson. "I am thrilled that this summer our families will be able to take full advantage of the new playground equipment, adult fitness stations, community garden, enhanced athletic fields, and other amenities offered as part of the $1.35 million renovation of the park. COVID-19 has highlighted the need for open green spaces and I am incredibly grateful that Roberto Clemente State Park will offer that to New Yorkers across the borough. I want to thank Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., the State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, Omni New York LLC and all the advocates that pushed for these investments to rebuild our park, and I look forward to our continued partnership."

"We're grateful for the partnership of New York State Parks, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz and Council Member Vanessa Gibson for renewing this community asset," said Eugene Schneur, Managing Director of Omni New York LLC. "It's exciting to know that the residents of River Park Towers have this very nearby and convenient access to outdoor recreation."

"The reopening of the South Playground at River Park Towers is the result of a public and private partnership that invested the resources needed to reenergize this space and reopen it for our youth and their families. This well-timed investment shows what can be done when we work together. This is an important reminder that – together – we truly can do great things and I want to thank my colleagues in government and Omni New York LLC for making this possible," Assembly Member Latoya Joyner (D-Bronx, 77th AD) said.

The South Playground, originally built in 1973 as an adventure playground, has been closed for nearly 20 years due to unsafe conditions. The renovated playground features new playground equipment, playground safety surfacing, modern climbing structures, adult fitness stations, shade trees and a community garden area. The playground and is situated along the park's main esplanade close to the Riverpark Towers, and its improvement will enhance the connection between the park and its largest residential neighbor.

The playground reflects the same aesthetic utilized along the newly reconstructed and adjoining esplanade – and will enhance the patron experience along the entire western edge of the park. The $1.35 million project was funded through a $1 million grant from Bronx Borough president Ruben Diaz, $250,000 from Council Member Vanessa Gibson and the final $100,000 from Omni New York LLC.

The revitalization of the South Playground builds on the $100 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.