After years of issues with garbage, dead wildlife and a lack of maintenance in Bowne Park, the green space in Flushing is set to receive a $2.45 million facelift.
Councilman Paul Vallone, whose district oversees the park, allocated $1.45 million in discretionary funds to upgrade the water fountains and filtration system in the pond of the nearly 12-acre park.
Residents complained in the past of the grimy pond, in which dead turtles reportedly have been found. The funds will also go to restore the asphalt pathways and lawn areas.
Borough President Melinda Katz will allocate an additional $1 million from her budget to the park to upgrade the playground, installing new play equipment with safety surfaces and benches.
“$2.45 million dollars will go a long way to restoring the natural resources of our precious park for wildlife, residents and neighborhood children alike,” said Robert Hanophy Jr., president of the Broadway-Flushing Homeowners Association.
Bowne Park is named for Walter Bowne, a New York City mayor in the 19th century, whose house stood on the land until 1925 when a fire destroyed the residence, according to the Parks Department.
The park is usually teeming with wildlife, including turtles, squirrels and various species of birds. Besides the pond, the park features two bocce courts, a basketball court and a playground with a sprinkler.
The revitalization of the park comes after a major project last year, in which the existing bocce court was renovated and a second court was added at the total cost of about $500,000. In 1994 the park underwent an $800,000 renovation, funded out of the budget of then Borough President Claire Schulman.
“Bowne Park has become an essential symbol of the quiet residential homes that surround the park,” Vallone said. “We promised to preserve the quality of life we cherish here in our communities and preserving and improving Bowne Park for decades to come is a testament to that promise.”