A great story from the New York Times.
Pity St. Mary’s Park. Too small and too poor to be supported by a park conservancy that might fix up its faded charms. Too big to make it onto the list of 35 parks in Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Community Parks Initiative, which is funneling $130 million in capital money into shabby parks in low-income neighborhoods across the city.
It is the largest park in the South Bronx, laden with the symbolism and expectations of its address. But while many of the surrounding neighborhoods have embarked on a turnaround in the past two decades, St. Mary’s Park, in the Mott Haven section, has lagged.
Its worn lawns and cracked courts have earned D’s and F’s on recent report cards for large parks created by the advocacy group New Yorkers for Parks. The bleachers overlooking its ball fields are without seats.
But now, St. Mary’s, which is unusual for its hilly terrain flecked with glacial outcroppings and mature trees, is poised to benefit from the city’s new focus on equality. Situated in one of the two poorest community board districts in the city (both in the South Bronx), the 35-acre park was just allotted $1.5 million from the City Council speaker, Melissa Mark-Viverito, for the renovation of one of its playgrounds.
On Wednesday, the parks department is holding a “scoping session,” or design workshop, for the community in which it will solicit ideas to improve not only the playground, but also the park as a whole. And the New York Restoration Project, a nonprofit group founded by Bette Midler that has transformed struggling parks in poor Manhattan neighborhoods, is now in talks with the parks department about helping St. Mary’s.
Retrieved March 2, 2015 from http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/02/nyregion/a-forgotten-park-in-the-south-bronx-gets-a-small-boost.html?_r=0