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Our little park grows up

Changes are coming to Travers Park: our 2-acre neighborhood playground is about to undergo a major makeover that will make greener and larger.

The idea is to blend the adjacent Rory Staunton Field and the 78th Street Pedestrian Plaza with Travers Park to create a seamless transition from park edge to the neighborhood through contemporary design with a classic structure.

Construction is expected to begin in 2017 and take place in a series of phases so the park is never completely closed to the public.

Here are some of the highlights of the plan, which is still subject to change.

  • Most of Travers Park’s multipurpose field will be transformed into a great lawn bordered with concrete paths and seating areas. Flowering trees will frame the arc of the lawn.
  • The concrete sidewalk along 34th Avenue will be expanded to create a pleasant forecourt linking the avenue to the park with benches and to reduce congestion at the Sunday Greenmarket
  • The 78th Street Pedestrian Plaza will act as the spine that connecting Travers Park, and Staunton Field and will feature a planting bed for seasonal flowers, additional trees and a location for temporary art. The plaza will split into three “rooms:”

o One room will serve as a performance space with seating carved out of the grade change from the plaza to Staunton Field.
o The next room provides access for Garden School garages and a location for the movable tables and chairs.

o Closer to Northern Boulevard, the next room will be an active space and an area for Garden School parents to continue to pick up their children after classes.

  • The city proposes eliminating two handball courts to create a multipurpose area for activities such as volleyball or tricycle riding. In additional the play area adjacent to the spray shower will be expanded with equipment for a wider age group of children.
  • Staunton Field will become the park’s center for athletic play, accommodating tennis, kickball, and other sports. It will be newly paved with asphalt lined with shade trees and permeable pavers.– Lila M. Stromer