Mary Whalen Park gets full makeover

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City Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver along with Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Middle Village), CB 9, and Maryann Keller cut the ribbon on the newly renovated Mary Whalen Park Friday for a full reconstruction of the playground. The renovations come as an update to make the park safer and more engaging, with pre-school and pre-teen play areas as a spray shower area.

“As much as we want children to have fun in our parks, we more importantly want them to be safe while having fun in our parks. And I am confident that this reconstruction project will allow that,” Silver said.

Funding for the project came from Crowley’s office, which provided $1 million and an additional $850,000 mayoral funding.

“I am thrilled with this new and improved playground and know it will benefit Woodhaven and all of Queens for generations to come,” Crowley said. “Renovating this site is part of my ongoing commitment to improving Forest Park, because it is such an integral part of our community for growing children and their families.”

Keller is the daughter of Mary Whalen.

The park is dedicated to the memory of Mary Whalen, a Woodhaven resident who served her community for years in the Woodhaven Women’s Democratic Club, the Woodhaven Senior Center, and the Supreme Council of the Columbiettes. Whalen lived a block from the park and was known for hosting cleanups and enjoying the space with her children and grandchildren before her death in 1987.

The park had no name until 1990, when Councilman Arthur Katzman officially dedicated the play area in her name.

Reach reporter Mark Hallum by e-mail at or by phone at (718) 260–4564.

Posted 12:00 am, June 13, 2016
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