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Long Island City parents call for shade canopies at local playgrounds, petition generates 300 signatures in 2 days

Hunters Point South Park

June 29, 2017 By Christian Murray

A Long Island City mother started a petition earlier this week calling on the city to put up shade canopies in area playgrounds to protect children from skin cancer.

The petition, launched by Hunters Point resident Tali Vaknin, has the support of neighborhood parents and has already generated 300 signatures.

Vaknin, who is being helped by the Hunters Point Parks Conservancy, aims to get 1,000 signatures and present it to Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer and the Parks Department.

“With limited shade, especially on the waterfront, children are often at risk for harmful sun exposure,” Vaknin said.

HPSP

“Children can easily burn and the playground equipment is dangerously hot,” Vaknin said, adding that the main play areas should be covered.

Vaknin said that she was recently in Israel and noticed that the playgrounds include shade canopies—or tarps—to protect children from the sun. She also said that the slides were made of plastic as opposed to metal that heats up.

She took a photo of a playground in Israel and photos of playgrounds in Manhattan to show what needs to be done in Long Island City.

Rob Basch, president of the Hunters Point Parks Conservancy, said he is in agreement with Vaknin. He said that he has been pushing for a shade canopy at Hunters Point South Park for the past two years through the participatory budgeting process.

With participatory budgeting, residents in Sunnyside, Woodside and Long Island City get to vote on how $1 million of city funds should be spent on capital improvements in the 26th Council District (Van Bramer’s district).

In the past two years, the shade canopy was on the ballot but did not get enough votes.

Van Bramer said today that he plans to help local parents get shade canopies.

“I fully support the efforts of concerned parents in Long Island City who have petitioned for the installation of shade canopies over playgrounds. Protecting children, and everybody, from the sun’s harmful rays is vitally important for cancer prevention, and I will certainly look into ways we could make this project a reality.”

Click for petition

Playground in Manhattan

 

Playground in Israel

 

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26 Comments

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kenny

they should of passed on the eye soar of a waste library! could of saved a fortune and just planted trees,.. a library! lol

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Marta

This has been on the ballot for Participatory Budgeting TWO TIMES. Where were these people when it was time to vote and win this project? $800,000 is the cost of the project because local parents are not in charge of securing materials and labor. The Parks Department is and that is the cost of the project as they will have to do it. You don’t have to like it but that is literally how it works. Take your magical thinking and made-up budgets and bring them to the ballot box with you the next time you vote during Participatory Budgeting. I know you didn’t show up last time or the time before that…

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Mister Charlie

Obviously the naysayers on this site don’t actually use these parks. If they did, they would see that these parks on the East River that provide an amazing and one of a kind view of the greatest city in the world are used by all residents of QUEENS and the larger city in general. I’m pretty sure the ethnic wear of everyone at the park, whether it be saris, burkas or chasidic, is evidence enough that everyone uses these parks, not just the people on Center Blvd. with their precious white babies (which one, isn’t true, and two, being white and wanting shade doesn’t make you a selfish a*hole at the expense of every other person on Earth that has it worse than you). And guess what?? Everyone loves shade on a hot day! You know who else likes shade on a hot day if it brings people to the area? Local business. But none of the naysayers care because they don’t actually know what it means to own a local business or put real blood, sweat and tears into a neighborhood. If they did, they wouldn’t care about “another Italian place” in the neighborhood, or another business that thinks it can provide a service and, G-d forbid, make some money too. But the American dream isn’t just making some money for your family, it’s the right to run your mouth off behind a computer screen and not be arrested (because you can do that in the best of other countries too, right?).

So much bitching on this site. If you really want to do something go do what this mom did and try to make some change. Otherwise your just a lazy ass complainer.

Freedom isn’t free. Whether it’s the freedom to live how you want, the freedom to vote, the freedom to vote with your feet or the freedom to complain about every single thing on this website, a lot of people died for all of you to do that. Remember that on the 4th, or at least don’t deny it.

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T

Woodside resident here. We live by Hart playground and luckily there are buildings which help provide shade. Also trees. Why didn’t they add trees when designing the playground? 800k for some shade is ridiculous.

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Anonymous

There are many valid viewpoints here, reflecting various perspectives.I hope some benefactor comes along to do this.What about some of the developers in the area? Or LIC Landing or Coffeed( whoever it was mentioned on this site is benefitting from some exclusive deal with the city).. Or JetBlue,Kaufman Studios…This beautiful place ,like all parks, deserves the best the city& community can offer. But Hunter’s Point IS special. I don’t even live right there but view it as a jewel. Let’s not fault people for trying. You CAN get results that help the area, when organized. Look, a stop sign was finally placed.It doesn’t mean this is at anyone’s expense. There are organized community groups all over Queens. Good luck- if Hunter’s Point Conservancy takes the initiative, for example,LIC Post will surely get the word out so we can donate,even if it’s small amounts at a time. Everyone needs some shade.

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brooklynmc

They are spending $3,000,000.00 on a small building in Queensbridge Park with a bathroom, an office for the park staff and a maintenance garage. THREE MILLION DOLLARS! They say $800,000.00 for shade! Seriously?

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Lic mommy

Totally agree, but signing up for a petition on a website is hardly “trying.” I’d like to see some real effort – specifically putting together a plan/proposal which shows the execution of this at a more reasonable cost than the $800k the city put forth, showing the maintenance costs, how long the budget would sustain a canopy/tarp and how many of the local playgrounds would be included (e.g. Murray park, Shady Park, tot lot, etc in addition to Gantry Playground) as it will be much harder to raise funds for one park which services some families vs. all the area parks that service all the families.

With some ACTUAL legwork/effort on this, it could easily be funded by donations from the community or could be a proposal that a brand/company or benefactor could sign on with. Whining and asking people to sign the online petition that took you 5 mins to set up just continues to enable the sad stereotype of the entitled mommies of Center Blvd and will continue to drive hostility on the issue.

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Anonymous

If this was the highest priority in the parks system in regards to needed improvements and infrastructure work I’d be for it but throughout the city I see parks in need of real work. When those are done then I’ll get behind this. Until then work should be done on a scale of priorities and the children of LIC are no more important than the children of other neighbors so signing petitions and trying to use political sway to ‘jump the line’ comes off to me as selfish and entitlement.

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brooklynmc

I fail to see that as selfish, jumping the line or saying our children are more important. I just see some very hot, sweaty children and parents that would like a little shade in a very new park that probably should have just had a little shade built in from the beginning. I have children and we are fine. We just go to another park. One with more water and shade. Just seems like this was short sighted.

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brooklynmc

We have an amazing park with amazing playgrounds. In the summer, which is when the outdoor playgrounds mostly get used, it can get unbearably hot. Asking for shade should not bring out hostility and if approved, should not cost much. Yes, kids are precious. I am sorry that some people can’t relate to children since every single one of us, even the trolls on this site, were children. The entire park does not need to be under shade but asking for a little shade in a children’s playground is not asking much and if shade will cost $800,000 then our city, and our country, is broken. Plant a few trees! One larger tree would suffice. Do trees cost $800,000? No, but a union tree probably does.

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Lic mommy

The petition isn’t enough. This mom should put together a proposal including the costs associated with building and maintaining these tarps (which I’m sure will need cleaning lest all the things they catch could fall on the children!). The reason the coverings didn’t get support from the participatory budget votes was because it was listed at 800k. Or 80% of the entire budget! If she can build a realistic proposal which comes in more affordably, they can include that for next year’s vote and/or start a Kickstarter to fund it. It also shouldn’t be solely focused to the center Blvd playgrounds, just cause that’s where this mom takes her kid. There are other parks more/equally in need. The issue with a lot of these newer mom residents is how selfish they are, thinking center Blvd is all of LIC when it’s less than 1/10th of the neighborhood. Ps, even shady Park gets some shade (despite the trees being butchered by Sandy) walk the extra two blocks and go there if you aren’t capable of protecting your child from the sun with block and hats. No matter what, these tarps won’t be thing til summer 18 the earliest. It’s not a bad idea, just not one that can be prioritized over so many others.

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JQ LLC

What was the Parks Dept. thinking when they put that playground by the water totally exposed by the sun? Oh, they never do.

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Ginger

What’s the problem with sunscreen? Or is it – as was mentioned on a post about participatory budgeting – that mom and dad want a nice place to sit in the shade?

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brooklynmc

Is this one of the greatest cities in the world, in what many consider the greatest country in the world? Should we have to fight to get a little shade in a children’s playground? Even if it is for the parents? What good is a playground if it is unbearably hot? Try sitting there on a typical July day. It is almost impossible. If the city government wasn’t so pathetic and if unions did not strangle the life out of everyone and everything that isn’t a member, we could have shade for little to no cost. Why did the city not just plant some trees when they built the playground? This is not the first playground they have built. I have watched Bloomberg’s million tree effort which is just another joke. Every tree they plant, dies. We pay a lot to live in New York City and having a tree in a playground should be protocol.

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mary

You have the RIGHT answer, trees ? provide shade, windy breezes, a sense of peace & well-bring, and so much more for people & the environment.

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Anonymous

this is JVB area he just loves it down there – maybe he should move – this money could be used elsewhere –

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Anonymous

Thank you for wasting more of my money. If the parents want it ,BUCK up and raise the money yourselves. There are true problems and issues in the area that need to be addressed.
Buy a hat and put on sunscreen.

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Allison

This is so unnecessary. Our very fair, blue-eyed, blonde child always plays on these playgrounds. Never a sunburn – sunscreen is great…

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marta

Maybe it’s time for the Hunters Point Parks Conservancy and local parents to start a capital campaign and raise funds for this project. There are many other park outside of Hunters Point but In Van Bramer’s district that are in disrepair and need funds directed in their direction. Sometimes if you want to upgrade an already beautiful park, you have to raise the money yourself instead of holding your hand out to the city.

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HC

Not a bad idea. The only hitch would be city approval because you’d have to get their ok to install it, and determine who will be responsible for maintaining it going forward.

Reply
Anonymous

Why’s it got to be a white guy? Or an old person? Don’t stereotype, it’s not indicative of education and often awash in error.

Reply

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