News about one of the city's best resources: Our parks and playgrounds. The watchdog group, New Yorkers for Parks, released their report cards for city parks and while parks have been showing improvements overall, but things could be better:

NY4P found that a quarter of NYC neighborhood parks are still failing to meet basic maintenance standards. In addition, the Report Card identified parks features that are “in need” across the board – in all five boroughs – including drinking fountains, comfort stations and athletic fields.

Here's a list of the best parks in NYC: 1. Bryant Park, Manhattan; 2. Public Place (Battery Park City), Manhattan; 3. Columbus Park, Brooklyn; 4. Paerdegat Park, Brooklyn; and 5. Lost Batallion Hall, Queens. And here's the bottom five: 1. University Woods, Bronx; 2. Robert Venable Park, Brooklyn; 3. Martinez Park, Brooklyn; 4. Last Chance Pond Park, Staten Island; and 5. Corlears Hook Park, Manhattan. Clearly, the more public and centrally located (not to mention smaller) the park is, more resources will probably be devoted to it. But there's something about "Last Chance Pond Park" that screams "abandoned and unruly" to us. Read the report cards from New Yorkers for Parks.


NYPIRG conducted a survey of city playgrounds and found that many playgrounds have peeling toxic paint; nearly half do not have adequate surfaces\; almost a third do not have adequate "fall zones" for swings, slides, etc.; 40% of the swings are not safe; 60% of swings, climbers, are not at safe heights; 30% have potential head entrapment hazards; and 35% pose clothing entanglement threats. Gothamist remembers the playgrounds of our youth: Rusty, rickety metal climbers, merry-go-rounds, and slides on concrete.