Five of the city's largest parks will get new soccer fields, hiking trails, and other improvements thanks to $150 million in new funding.
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the funding for the five parks on Thursday: St. Mary's Park in The Bronx, Highbridge Park in Manhattan, Betsy Head Park in Brooklyn, Astoria Park in Queens, and Freshkills Park on Staten Island.
Each will get $30 million to add and improve amenities like soccer fields, comfort stations, running tracks, and hiking trails.
"For a lot of New Yorkers, this is where they spend their summer vacation. For a lot of people who can't afford to travel, park is everything to them — it's where they get to see nature, it's where they get to relax," the mayor said.
"Even though parks in less advantaged communities were even more important to those residents, they got the least investment," de Blasio continued.
Officals say 750,000 New Yorkers live within walking distance from one of the parks. The improvement effort is part of the city's Anchor Parks Initiative.
City officials said the parks were chosen based on historical underinvestment, high surrounding population, and potential for development.
Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver said the initiative will give New Yorkers in all five boroughs "a once-in-a-generation opportunity to make their older parks new again.''