The McKinley Park Project is one of many projects accomplished through the collaborative efforts of Onondaga County Save the Rain and the City of Syracuse Parks and Recreation Department. As a neighborhood park, McKinley Park has served the recreational needs of the community since 1920. The primary goal of the project is to reduce the volume of stormwater that flows into the combined sewer system along West Newell Street, West Calthrop Avenue, and West Pleasant Avenue – all within the CSO 067 area. This project implements various green infrastructure technologies, including bioretention (also known as rain gardens) and porous pavement with an underground infiltration system. This infrastructure will capture runoff from the park and surrounding areas, totaling 51,000 square feet of drainage area. Stormwater will slowly soak into the ground or evaporate, eliminating excess runoff into the sewer system and improving the overall stormwater management and drainage in this area.
A secondary goal of this project is to enhance McKinley Park by increasing green space and improving the basketball court. Existing pavement formerly used as a tennis court was removed entirely and replaced with open green space. Additionally, the former basketball half court was replaced with a full-sized porous pavement basketball court in partnership with the Jim and Juli Boeheim Foundation’s Courts4Kids Program. Court construction was finished during the summer with a ribbon cutting on August 1. Construction of the remaining improvements is scheduled to be completed in 2018. When the project is complete, an estimated 945,000 gallons of stormwater runoff per year will be removed from the combined sewer in the CSO 067 area.
Purchased by the City of Syracuse in 1920, McKinley Park was formerly a brickyard with a pond and a well. Since then the city has built a pool, spray park, athletic fields, and a modern playground in addition to the porous pavement basketball courts.
Historical information courtesy of Paul Pflanz, Author of “Exploring Green in the ‘Cuse – A User’s Guide to Salt City Parks” and the Syracuse Parks Conservancy
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