Sept. 28, 2022 By Michael Dorgan – Updated
A public park in the heart of Long Island City is about to get a major overhaul.
The athletic field at Murray Park, located between 11th Street and 21st Street, is set to be completely resurfaced while the dog run at the park will be upgraded.
Councilmember Julie Won, who represents the 26th council district in western Queens, made the announcement at the park Tuesday after her office secured $5.3 million in city funds for the project.
Won presented Queens Borough Parks Commissioner Michael Dockett with a check to pay for the upcoming makeover. They were joined yesterday by a number of Parks Dept. officials and local residents.
The revamp will consist of ripping up the dated synthetic grass that covers the field and replacing it with a new, high-quality surface.
The park’s athletic field is situated on the western side of the park and is around 180 feet long and 150 feet wide. It consists of two small soccer pitches, and it also has markings for baseball. It has not been replaced in around 15 years and is in need of repairs, according to Won.
Meanwhile, the park’s dog run, which is situated on the southeastern corner of the park, will also be revamped. The run currently consists of a large wood-chipped area for dogs to exercise and a number of benches for dog owners to sit down.
The cost to replace the surface on the athletic field will be $4.1 million while the tab for the new dog run will come to $1.2 million, Won said.
Residents will be able to weigh in on the designs of the project at a future community input meeting with the Parks Dept. Once the designs have been finalized, a timeline for the construction of the project will be released, a spokesperson for the Parks Dept. told the Queens Post.
Won said the Parks Dept. has also agreed to repair broken tiles at the children’s sprinklers system — inside the park’s playground area — and improve security lighting throughout the park.
Furthermore, she said, the agency pledged to implement a regular gardening and cleaning schedule throughout the entire park — while also cleaning excess sand from the playground every day.
“Since my first day in office, I heard from parents about capital investments needed to renovate Murray Playground,” Won said.
“As a mom, I want to make sure that our parks are clean, safe, and fun for our children so I’m happy to announce that through our advocacy, we secured $5.3 million from the City Council for much-needed improvements to the park.”
The announcement comes just weeks after the two basketball courts at the park were resurfaced.
The two courts, which are situated on the westernmost side of Murray Park and adjacent to the athletic field, were painted in blue and green-colored tones while the backboards on the courts were also replaced.
The total cost of the transformation was $140,000 and was funded entirely by Five Star Basketball, a Westchester county-based organization that organizes basketball camps for youths throughout the state.
I live right next to the park and I have to say it is the best park in LIC, after Gantry Plaza State Park. I see lots of happy people utilizing the park, including intensive soccer matches, and fancy kid’s birthday parties. The cleaning staff and gardeners are wonderful.
Can we spend $5 million in Queensbride? Or a park in Queensborough plaza area? Have you been to those areas? They are our less fortunate neighbors (humans and dogs) and need more park space.
You can use $300k to fix those broken tiles in the kid’s playground.
The last renovation to Murray park was in 2010 and again in 2013 – where a total of $3.3 million was already spent.
Maybe dogs should not be allowed to roam free and play catch at night in the athletic field!
Have you been to many of the NYC parks with major cracks all over the asphalt, with no greenspace, let alone a luscious garden with two cats?
Redoing the dog run with synthetic grass (astroturf) would make it useful year round. Several dog runs in New Jersey are done this way, and could be a model to how NYC does it.
Seems like a lot of money for little value. $4mm+ for fixing a soccer field? Become a contractor for the city = easy path to riches. What about upgrading the playground area, swings and grassy area that actual human children play on? It seems strange to spend $1mm+ on an area where dogs do their business but not maintain the children’s areas of the park…
Actual human children use the soccer field as well as adults, the park is not just for children. The field used to be asphalt. It is used by the local high school for football practice, its too small to play a game and the school girls softball team practices and hosts games there. Weekends you will find many children’s soccer leagues in the morning and adult games in the afternoon/evening. I have witnessed this summer the field full of children with their Nannie’s or parents during the week, playing and having fun. Part of the upgrade includes dealing with drainage since astroturf does not absorb rain the way actual grass does. With a better dog park, hopefully the dog owners in this neighborhood will no longer use the grass area, even though there is a sign saying that pets are not allowed on the grass. The playground area was upgraded several years ago. If you feel the swings etc need to be upgraded, get involved and form a friends group, get other parents involved and advocate for those things. Sitting on the sideline and complaining won’t change anything.
Unless people have lost all sense of how much money $5 million is, the people who approved this in my view are likely on the take or get some sort of quid pro quo. I understand that upgrades are beneficial but this stinks of corruption and definitely benefits some groups over others. I am all for having a nicer park but come on. Maybe deal with the rampant and open drug use first? Perhaps the people who approved this were high on all the secondhand smoke emanating from the park…
Also as many parents know there are some very unscrupulous individuals loitering in the park some who expose themselves in front of children. I would think that dealing with potential child sex offenders in the park is more important than providing for new turf?
We can all agree I hope that safety and security of human children needs to come before creature comforts for the dogs of the neighborhood.
The school next door uses the soccer field daily for PE and recess.
about time! playing on that turf is a hazard to healthy and wobbly knees. and that dog park looks depressing.
kudos to councilmember won!