West Thames Lawn being resurfaced until April

Photo by Milo Hess Work kicked off this month on the West Thames Lawn in Battery Park City, where artificial turf is replacing the seasonal grass.

Photo by Milo Hess
Work kicked off this month on the West Thames Lawn in Battery Park City, where artificial turf is replacing the seasonal grass.

BY YANNIC RACK |

The grass will soon be greener on the other side of the construction fence — only it won’t actually be grass.

Work is well underway on the resurfacing of the West Thames Lawn in Battery Park City, where artificial turf is replacing the sod lawn to make the park accessible all-year round.

“The grassy surface is really difficult to maintain — it would turn to mud, it would get worn out because the usage was so high,” said Robin Forst, the Battery Park City Authority’s vice president for external relations.

Work on the $1.59 million project started on Dec. 2 and the area around the lawn, including the walkway on its western side, are now closed off for the construction. The work should be completed in April, according to the authority.

By then, a set of raised, granite-clad planters will be installed along the lawn’s western border, framing three backless benches in the middle.

In addition, the contractor will install a new drinking fountain at the entrance to the basketball courts under the Rector Street Bridge and also put in a set of misting stations for the new turf — which is the same material covering the ball fields in the northern part of the neighborhood.

Since the sod lawns in Battery Park City are usually closed for around six months every year, Forst said the new synthetic turf would be a welcome improvement.

“People in the south particularly had nowhere for their kids to play in the winter, unlike the north neighborhood, which has the ball fields,” she said.

Artificial turf has been controversial for years because some particles used in common varieties have been linked to cancer.

The type of turf used in Battery Park City is non-toxic, however, which was one of the provisions that Community Bard 1’s Battery Park City Committee asked for when endorsing the West Thames Lawn project back in July.

“We want this to be neighborhood-friendly,” Forst said.

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3 Responses to West Thames Lawn being resurfaced until April

  1. Pity that as the city tries to get GREEN, BPC is shifting to plastic. This isn't really "neighborhood friendly". Instead, there should be a push to better utilize the play spaces we have – both the ball fields and The Battery (will that playground EVER be finished?)

  2. It is a shame as there have always been a bunch of toddlers etc who walk around, fall down/crawl around on that surface. Now when they do, the will ingest highly toxic little black particles from the artificial turf.

  3. I usually took the same way everyday where the west thames lawn is located. the construction is on full swing. Hope it will be completed soon.

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