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Monday, January 8, 2024

From Trains Meadow to Thriving Hub: Uncover the Story of Travers Park in Jackson Heights, Queens

  Rajesh Kumar Rana       Monday, January 8, 2024

Imagine a time before bustling streets and towering apartment buildings defined Jackson Heights, Queens (History). In its place, sprawling meadows stretched under open skies, known as Trains Meadow. Fast forward to today, and nestled amidst the vibrant neighborhood sits Travers Park, a verdant oasis teeming with life and laughter. But this beloved green space holds a rich history, whispering tales of transformation, community spirit, and a dedicated local leader. So, lace up your walking shoes and join us on a journey through time, as we uncover the story of Travers Park, from its rural beginnings to its role as a thriving hub for the Jackson Heights community.

History of Travers Park

Travers Park in Jackson Heights, Queens
Travers Park in Jackson Heights, Queens
Source: Wikipedia 

Nestled in the vibrant Queens neighborhood of Jackson Heights, Travers Park stands as a testament to the community's evolution and a tribute to a dedicated local leader. But the park's history stretches far beyond its 1949 opening, holding stories of rural landscapes, community growth, and tireless efforts to create a welcoming green space for all. 

From Meadows to Metropolis:

Before sprawling apartment buildings and bustling streets defined Jackson Heights, the land where Travers Park sits was known as Trains Meadow - a vast, rural expanse stretching back to the 18th century. In 1909, the area witnessed a dramatic transformation when Edward A. MacDougall's Queensboro Corporation acquired the land and christened it Jackson Heights, honoring a respected local businessman.

Providing Green Lungs for a Booming Neighborhood:

By the mid-20th century, Jackson Heights was booming, its population rapidly increasing. Recognizing the need for green spaces amidst the urban landscape, the City of New York acquired the land in 1948 and opened it the following year as Jackson Heights Park. The park initially catered to sports enthusiasts with basketball courts and a seasonal skating rink.

Transformation and Renaming:

Over the years, the park evolved to suit the changing needs of the community. In 1995, it received a facelift, welcoming spray showers, game tables, and inclusive play equipment for all ages. Then, in 2020, a major renovation transformed the park once again. Today, visitors can enjoy a sprawling great lawn, a vibrant performance area with stadium seating, an expanded play area for all ages, and a seamless connection to surrounding streets.

The Man Behind the Name:

In 1958, the park was renamed in honor of Thomas J. Travers, a prominent Queens Democrat and dedicated leader who deeply embedded himself in the fabric of Jackson Heights. From serving in World War I to actively participating in local organizations like the Jackson Heights Taxpayers Association, Travers embodied the spirit of community. His tireless efforts earned him the respect and admiration of his neighbors, making him a fitting namesake for the heart of Jackson Heights.

Travers Park Today:

Today, Travers Park is more than just a green space; it's a vibrant community hub. Families gather for picnics and playtime, seniors enjoy leisurely strolls, and community events bring people together under the open sky. As Jackson Heights continues to evolve, Travers Park remains a constant, a testament to the community's past, a reflection of its present, and a promise of a vibrant future.

Additional Information:

  • The park is located between 77th and 78th Streets, on the north side of 34th Avenue in Jackson Heights, Queens.
  • It is open daily from 6:00 AM to 11:00 PM.
  • The park is accessible by the 7 train to the 74th Street-Broadway/Jackson Heights station.


Thanks for reading From Trains Meadow to Thriving Hub: Uncover the Story of Travers Park in Jackson Heights, Queens

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