Community Input for Chappetto Square Renovation
There was considerable enthusiasm for an upcoming local renovation project amongst the community members who turned out to tell the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation what they would like to see happen at local park Chappetto Square during a recent visioning meeting at the Judge Charles F. Vallone School in Astoria.
Welcomed by Queens Parks Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski and District 22 Council Member Costa Constantinides, those in attendance were given some background on the funding available for Chappetto Square, due to the site’s having been added to the Community Parks Initiative. Costa referred to the successful renovation of the Van Alst Playground, the first NYC park to be refurbished under the CPI program.
Then the true work of the evening began as neighbors gathered around sketch maps of Chappetto Square while staff from the Parks Department and Partnerships for Parks recorded their comments. While community members appreciated the open space and sporting opportunities that Chappetto Square provides, concerns were raised about littering and other quality of life issues.
Suggestions for the renovation of the park were shared and recorded at all the tables. Increased seating options, more trees, greenery and shade, play equipment for younger children, a lower fence that would present a less forbidding border to the Square, game tables that seniors, among others, would enjoy, a water fountain, garbage cans, and the preservation of the historic plaque commemorating World War II veteran and local sporting hero Peter Chappetto were among the ideas put forward by residents. The importance of maintaining a balance among various groups who want to use the Square for sports was also discussed. Members of each table presented a summary of their discussion to the larger group, and all comments were noted by Parks staff.
The feedback from the visioning session will be taken back to the Parks Design team who will use it in shaping a preliminary design for Chappetto Square. If you were unable to attend the Visioning session, though, you can still give feedback on the Parks Department’s website: choose Chappetto Square on the “Share Your Input Online” menu. The link for online input will remain active for about two weeks. You can also contact Gretha Suarez, your Astoria Partnerships for Parks Outreach Coordinator, at Gretha.Suarez@parks.nyc.gov or at 728-520-5913 to give her your feedback directly. Chappetto Square will remain open during the design process but will then close for approximately a year for reconstruction. We look forward to another Community Parks Initiative renovation as successful as that of the Van Alst Playground!
Community feedback at the Chappetto Square Visioning; photo credit Clare Doyle