Travers Park is a little park located at 34th Avenue between 77th and 78th Street in Jackson Heights, Queens. Though the park is smaller than one city block, it is an important public space that hosts a variety of cultural events and allows the mixing of different people from a variety of cultures. Some of the groups that frequent the park include people from Far East Asia, the Indian Subcontinent, Latin America and more. Despite the large diversity, not one ethnic group seems to use it in a way that is specific to their culture, with the exception of a few Chinese women who practice Tai Chi in the mornings.
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Originally intended to be a “garden in the city,” Jackson Heights now ranks 50th out of New York City’s 51 council districts in available park space, making Travers Park the only neighborhood playground.1 Being one of only a few parks in the area, Travers is loved by its community. With initiatives such as a $6 million addition to the park this year and $1.7 million proposed (but never implemented) renovation are a few of the ongoing efforts being made to spruce up the parkland. Organizations such as Jackson Height’s Beautification Group and Friends of Travers Park are only a few of many hoping to positively redefine Travers Park.2
Much like the area in which it is located, Travers Park serves quite a heterogeneous population. The presence of such diverse people, immigrants and natives alike, mirrors the cultural richness of New York City. Children of different backgrounds, parents and grandparents gather to enjoy all that Travers has to offer. Although it may not seem like your traditional parkland, Travers Park is a limited resource highly valued by its surrounding residents. The community continues to do all it can in an attempt to enhance the 1.92–acre source of fun!