THE BRONX - After almost a year of renovations, the Van Nest playground is finally open to the public.

Officials say that the park needed a major makeover.

"The way this park looked, and how it was treated, it needed a makeover,"said city Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver.

The completed playground offers parents a place where their children can play safely.

"In the last year that we didn't have the park, there was a lot more crime in the area…it caused problems," said Lily Barker, whose son plays at the playground.