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Turning an asphalt play yard into a green park

By Len Maniace

Though some details differ, a consensus seems to be forming around a new and improved Travers Park, one that’s contains significantly more green space, room for performances and the Green Market, as well as athletic fields.

Jackson Heights residents filled the Garden School gym on March 18 for the second visioning session held by NYC Parks and Councilman Daniel Dromm. The planning effort is designed to great a new larger park by combining Travers with the 78th Street Pedestrian Plaza and the Garden School athletic field, which was purchased by the city for $6 million and then renamed Rory Staunton Field.

The city will spend another $7.2 million to redevelop the park concentrating the work on Travers’ asphalt-topped recreation field, the pedestrian plaza and the Staunton Field, said JoAnne Amagrande, the Queens Parks chief of staff.

Park officials will work up a preliminary plan for Travers Park to be presented at special public planning session at the park, Amagrande said. Residents will get one more look at the proposal by year’s end before the city develops detailed plans and seeks bids on the project.

JHBG’s Friends of Travers Park committee expects help with park maintenance at the expanded park while JHBG would provide cultural programming such as its Summer Sunday in the Park, whose 11th season is expected this summer. To volunteer at the park, or any other activities please contact JHBG at