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City Hall to Create 'Mega Park' in Northeast Moscow

People enjoying a sunny day at one of the fountains at the All-Russia Exhibition Center in northeast Moscow.

Three of northeast Moscow's most popular recreation spots will be merged to form the largest park in the city, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said Monday in a statement on the city government's website.

The merger of the All-Russia Exhibition Center, formerly known as VDNKh, with the neighboring Botanical Gardens and Ostankino Park will be approved on Tuesday at a meeting of city officials, Sobyanin said. The parks' combined territory will cover about 540 hectares, he said.

Ostankino Park has been receiving a makeover since 2012, with the overhaul set to carry on for another two years, the mayor said during an inspection of the park.

Upon completion, Ostankino will have a scenic landscape resembling parks of the late 18th and early 19th centuries while at the same time being fully equipped for modern use. In addition to a skatepark, it will have a horse-riding track, children's playgrounds, sports grounds and a boat station.

The park's lighting has already been upgraded, and its walkways have been resurfaced with granite blocks and concrete tiles.

Sobyanin said that despite the merger, the Botanical Gardens will remain under the jurisdiction of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The scientific institution was embroiled in a dispute with the Russian government last year over the passing of legislation that stripped the academy of the right to manage its own property.

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