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NYC Parks Releases Plan to Keep New Yorkers Cool this Summer

NYC Parks Releases Plan to Keep New Yorkers Cool this Summer

Enjoy fountains and splash pads at NYC Parks this summer!

It's officially summer, which guarantees one thing: hot, hot weather. In some areas, the heat can be almost unbearable and with the new regulations at NYC beaches and risks of taking public transportation, cooling off at the beach or pool may not always be an option for you. Luckily, New York City has a plan to help people chill out (literally). Cool It! NYC is a plan to help keep New York City residents cooler and safer outside. By researching city neighborhoods that face the dangers of high heat, NYC officials can place cooling elements, like water fountains, splash pads, spray showers, and trees, in areas where they are needed most.

Cool It! NYC is using the New York City Heat Vulnerability Index, or HVI, to determine which neighborhoods are at a higher risk for extreme heat. NYC Health and Columbia University formed HVI to update the city’s capabilities for measuring extreme heat. Once hot spots are identified, New York City officials can either directly implement change in the area or direct citizens to different areas in the community. The City plans to add 250 new spray showers to help beat the heat. This will help city residents receive the tools they need to enjoy the summer sun while staying safe.

The city is also highlighting areas that have drinking fountains and places with tree cover. (There are more than 950 drinking fountains in the city for public use). Also, shade from trees can lower surface temperatures by up to 20 degrees. Simply sitting under a tree for a couple minutes can help prevent heat exhaustion during the summer.

If you want more information about Cool It! NYC, visit the NYC Park's website for an interactive, color-coded map that points out the locations of all of the spray showers and drinking fountains in the city, as well as the leafiest blocks, the parks with the most tree cover, and the areas with the highest heat vulnerability. You can also download a spreadsheet of all NYC Parks water feature locations.

The city is continuing to take precautions for COVID-19. While they do not present a higher risk of virus transmission, water features can get overly crowded during the summer, especially with children around. Drinking fountains in particular can lead to a spread in disease if they are not properly cleaned, according to the CDC. Maintain proper social distancing when you are using spray showers or other cooling amenities. Also, make sure that you monitor your children and help them maintain a proper social distance when out.

You can request a fire hydrant spray cap at NYC 311 to help keep your neighborhood cooler. In addition, the city is working with the DOT to add cooling elements to their Open Spaces. 

RELATED: Guide to Safe Fun in New York this Summer



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Patrick Gunn

Author: Patrick Gunn is a summer intern at Davler Media Group/NYMetroParents and rising senior at Syracuse University. He also contributes regularly for the Yankee blogs Start Spreading the News and Pinstripe City and enjoys a good film. See More

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