NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP, today joined Deputy Bronx Borough President Aurelia Greene, Council Member James Vacca, the Friends of Pelham Bay Park, and community members to break ground on the installation of new fitness equipment and an accessible nature walk at Pelham Bay Park.
“This project will improve the recreational space here in Pelham Bay Park and will be a useful amenity for both children and adults,” said Commissioner Silver. “I’d like to thank Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., Council Member James Vacca, and the Friends of Pelham Bay Park for making this happen.”
“Our parks are critical to a healthier, happier Bronx, especially as we move forward with the #Not62 campaign and work to improve health indicators in every Bronx community. This project will bring new exercise equipment for all ages to Pelham Bay Park, and I am proud to have provided $200,000 from my own capital budget to bring these new amenities to the East Bronx. In partnership with Council Member James Vacca and the Parks Department, we have reinvigorated Pelham Bay Park and ensured that users of all types will be able to get fit and stay fit as a result of this project,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
Council Member Vacca contributed $416,000 which will provide various exercise apparatus including a pushup and pull-up bar, sit-up and dip benches, and much more.
“Adding fitness equipment in our parks has been one of my major funding priorities,” said Council Member James Vacca. “It’s no secret that we have a health crisis in the Bronx. Many people do not have access to gyms or exercise centers. These installations provide a convenient place for residents to work out and get in shape. I thank Commissioner Silver, Commissioner Rodriguez-Rosa and the Parks Department for their commitment to this project.”
Additionally, Council Member Vacca provided $100,000 in funding for the nature walk – a development that involves building an accessible path with viewing areas around a small vernal pond in the Playground for All Children. Known as “Pond Walk,” the project will allow children with limited mobility to explore the pond’s edge for the first time. This plan was also advocated for and supported by the Friends of Pelham Bay Park who raised $15,000 which went toward the design of the nature walk.
“Friends of Pelham Bay Park deeply appreciates the generous support of Council Member Jimmy Vacca,” stated Friends’ President Lizbeth Gonzalez. “The Friends spearheaded the Pond Walk initiative to ensure that children of all abilities can experience nature up-close and in a playful way. And just as important, we advocated for outdoor exercise equipment so everyone, irrespective of income, can be fit and look good. Who could ask for anything more?”
This project is expected to be completed by next summer.