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Loreto Park’s playground and bocce courts officially reopen

Bronx Times

Something for the young, something for the old.

From new slides, swings and other playground equipment to refurbished bocce courts, this Morris Park playground is back in full business.

Loreto Park’s playground and bocce courts officially reopened to the public Friday, April 20 with a host of officials on hand to celebrate.

The project included renovation of the existing bocce courts with a new play surface and concrete wall, construction of a new toddler play area with climbing structures and musical play equipment, an expanded sitting area, new planting beds and drainage improvements.

Parks and Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe joined Councilman Jimmy Vacca, Assemblywoman Naomi Rivera, 49th Precinct Deputy Inspector Kevin Nicholson, Community Board 11 district manager Jeremy Warneke, members of the Morris Park Community Association, and neighborhood children from the St. Francis Xavier School for a ribbon cutting ceremony to officially reopen the playground equipment and bocce courts.

Also on hand were relatives of Police Officer Alfred Loreto, after whom the park is named. He was killed while off duty trying to stop a kidnapping in his Morris Park neighborhood.

“Loreto Playground has been a community hub in the Morris Park neighborhood for decades,” Benepe said. “Thanks to a $500,000 allocation by Councilmember Vacca, Loreto Playground now preserves the ancient Roman sport of bocce for a new generation and contains colorful playground equipment for some of the area’s youngest residents. Whether you’re draining a three-pointer, rolling a bocce ball, or barreling down a slide, Loreto Playground continues to offer active recreational opportunities for people of all ages.”

Vacca said the outdated equipment was definitely due for upgrades.

“I was more than happy to provide City Council funding for this project because these renovations were certainly needed. Now, the new equipment can accommodate people of all ages for this community and I am very happy the work has been completed.”

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