The $28 million first phase of a regional park in Far Rockaway, the fourth of eight regional parks proposed under PlaNYC, the city’s plan for a greener New York, has broken ground.

The project will create a 13-acre park stretching from Beach 11th Street to Beach 17th Street and Beach 28th Street to Beach 32nd Street and contain such amenities as a synthetic turf football field, a performance venue, a skate park, a central lawn area, a climbing wall and a variety of sports courts.

"The fact that we are moving forward on these projects in spite of the tough economy, demonstrates our firm commitment to sustainability and to maintaining our city's unbeatable quality of life by investing in the green spaces of the future," said Michael R. Bloomberg who was joined by at the grounbreaking ceremony by State Senate President Malcolm A. Smith, Assembly Member Audrey Pheffer and Council Member James Sanders, who provided $2 million for the project.

"Once the shovels go in the ground in Far Rockaway, half of the regional parks promised in PlaNYC will be under construction, a milestone in our efforts to make sure every city resident lives within a 10-minute walk of a park or playground," added Mayor Bloomberg.

The first phase of this project is expected to be completed by the spring of 2012. The start date for the second phase, which will include the renovation of the Beach 9th Street playground, has not yet been scheduled.

-Carolina Worrell