Brooklyn parks are set to receive a major facelift.
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams announced a ten percent increase in parks funding as part of Borough Hall’s capital budget for the fiscal year 2015 at a press conference held Tuesday morning at Heckscher Playground on Linden Street in Bushwick.
The playground, which has been in use since 1934, received a large chunk — $1 million of the total $5.2 million in increased funding.
The money will go towards the renovation of the playground, the basketball court, the existing fountains, and the creation of a new astro-turf over the existing asphalt adjacent to the playground, fitted with a rubberized running track geared particularly towards the needs of seniors in the neighborhood.
“Parks play a vital role in our everyday interactions,” said Adams. “They are impactful for everyone from seniors to babies. It’s used by the school system, it’s used by senior centers, and we often use it during the day just to reconnect with nature.”
Other borough parks to receive funding in the new budget include Cadman Plaza in Brooklyn Heights, Brower skate park in Crown Heights, and Greenpoint’s McGolrick Park, which was allocated $500,000 in the new budget.
The beleaguered park and playground has witnessed a tremendous upswing of momentum this year, including winning participatory budget funding from District 33 Councilmember Steve Levin earlier this year, in large part due to the efforts of the reinvigorated McGolrick Park Neighborhood Alliance.
“We only started in earnest about eight months ago and I’m blown away by the results,” said Daniel Latorre, a member of the McGolrick Park Neighborhood Alliance. “It’s all about striking while the opportunity exists, and this is the result of intense work on the group’s part.”
The funds allocated to parks accounts for 15 percent of the total capital budget for the fiscal year 2015, according to the Borough President’s office.
This year’s push for parks also includes a $1 million investment towards green infrastructure and clean-air spearheaded by Deputy Borough President Diana Reyna.
“We have to push the envelope and think outside the box,” said Reyna, whose efforts on the project will focus on using the space under the Brooklyn Queens expressway in a creative fashion. “It’s about rebuilding sustainable communities.”
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