2011-11-18 / Top Stories

Bayswater Park Ranks Low In New Report

By Miriam Rosenberg

The bathrooms are dirty. Many of the water fountains don’t work, and those that do are leaking or covered in algae.

That is what a new report on large New York City parks by an advocacy group says about Bayswater Park, located at Bay 32 Street and Beach Channel Drive.

New Yorkers for Parks recently released its “Report Card On Large Parks,” which graded the Rockaway park at the low end of the totem pole, giving it an overall grade of 79, a C+, which tied it with Roy Wilkins Recreation Center in St. Albans for last place among the 17 parks in Queens that were surveyed for the report. The average grade for Queens parks was 87.

According to the report, in addition to the problems with the drinking fountains, which scored a 41 in the survey, “bathrooms [which scored a 48] failed because of unsanitary conditions.”

Drinking fountains were a problem throughout the parks system and received an overall 64. The report stated that “As in previous Report Cards, drinking fountains received the lowest grade among all features surveyed. They are plagued by maintenance and structural challenges. In many cases, the fountains are unusable because of insufficient pressure, missing parts, or structural damage.”

Jill Weber, the administrator for Rockaway’s parks spoke to The Wave about the report.

“On any given day conditions can fail,” said Weber. “The bathrooms [in Bayswater Park] are fairly new.”

She added that the Department regularly inspects the fountains and she believes that any problems found by the group’s inspection has long since been corrected.

“This is something that is not typical of Bayswater Park,” said Weber. “We concentrate a lot on it.”

In addition to the new bathrooms, the park receives a fresh coat of paint at the beginning of each season, and new gardens have been added, Weber said.

“I think this is one of those unusual circumstances,” explained Weber. “It is their right to inspect the parks. I don’t think it is the norm. Hopefully [any problems] were corrected shortly after.”

It was not all bad news for Bayswater Park, however.

The park’s athletic fields scored a 94, its basketball courts an 85, the immediate environment an 86, natural areas 100, pathways a 96, playgrounds a 100, sitting areas 81 and trees 89. The lawns of the park received a 70 grade.

Surveys of parks were completed between June and August of 2010, between the hours of 10 a.m. to dusk. Twelve features in 45 city parks, each between 20 and 500 acres, were studied. The features were evaluated for maintenance, cleanliness, safety, and structural integrity. The average total score for any given park in the city was 85.

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