April 26, 2022 By Christian Murray
The Parks Dept. plans to break ground on a dog run and seating area at L/CPL Thomas P. Noonan Playground this summer.
The department plans to transform the southwest section of the park—near the intersection of Greenpoint Avenue and 42nd Street—into an area for canines and residents looking to sit back and relax.
A spokesperson for the Parks Dept said Monday that the agency anticipates that construction will take about 12 months, with the project likely to be completed by summer 2023.
The department released a preliminary design at the beginning of 2020 and the plan had been to start construction in spring 2021 and complete it in spring 2022.
However, the Parks Dept. faced delays in seeking a contractor to do the work due to the pandemic. The department—between March 2020 and March 2021—stopped putting out contracts to bid on hundreds of projects due to the city’s fiscal uncertainty and other constraints.
The project will involve the construction of a dog run that will include a 1,500 square foot area for large dogs and a 770 square foot area for smaller canines. Both spaces will boast benches, dog waste receptacles and bottle fillers with doggie bowls. The dog run will be parallel to Greenpoint Avenue.
The area adjacent to the proposed dog run will be resurfaced with concrete hexagon pavers and there will be benches, a game table, plantings and a pedestrian pole with 1964 World’s Fair-themed lighting installed. At the entrance–by Greenpoint Avenue and 42nd Street– there will be a concrete seat wall.
The new dog run stems from a grass roots campaign by a group of local dog owners who formed the Friends of Noonan Park Dog Run.
Christine Coulombe, the group’s leader, approached then-Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer with the idea of a dog run, noting that there was a lack of public dog facilities in the southern section of the neighborhood.
Van Bramer secured funding for the $2.5 million project from the mayor’s office in 2018.
Coulombe, in an interview Tuesday, said that she was pleased the project was back on track.
“I’m getting excited,” Coulombe said. “In fact many people are getting excited as the word is getting out.”
Coulombe said that there are a lot of dogs on the south side of Queens Boulevard and that while the dog run at Lou Lodati Park on Skillman Avenue is good it is too far away.
She said she likes the Parks Dept. design, although she is concerned about the fate of the existing trees. She is trying to make sure they don’t get chopped down, since they provide a much-needed canopy.
Coulombe and her husband, Todd Gwinn, plan to maintain the dog run along with their Friends of Noonan Dog Run group– much like Rick Duro and the Sunnyside United Dogs Society oversee the dog run at Lou Lodati Park.
The revamp of the southwest corner of Noonan Playground represents the final stage of the park’s three-phase overhaul.
In 2015, the playground was expanded and new climbing areas, swings, safety surfaces and shrubbery were installed. A sprinkler as well as a flagpole in recognition of Lance Corporal Thomas P. Noonan Jr., who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor after the Vietnam War, were also added.
In 2016, the basketball courts and handball courts were resurfaced with new asphalt.
Upon the completion of Phase 3, the entire park–with the exception of the bathrooms– will have been redone in recent years.