McGolrick Park’s long discussed and much-needed improvements are finally (hopefully!) on the fast track.
And to celebrate their recent momentum, activists and neighbors who have long campaigned for upgrades to the Greenpoint Park, planted 1,000 daffodils at the park this past weekend.
The planting, along with a ceremony honoring local electeds who worked with residents to obtain funds for the improvements, was organized by the McGolrick Park Neighborhood Alliance (MPNA) – an advocacy group made up mainly of residents living around the park, whose work has started to show gains in recent days.
Most recently, its advocacy helped secure $1.3 million towards the reconstruction of the playground.
“This playground has suffered from disrepair in recent years, and we are really thrilled that our elected officials dedicated funds for its rehabilitation,” said Ingrid Bromberg Kennedy, a concerned parent and a co-founder of the MPNA. “We hope it marks the start of revitalization of the park, which is a treasure to our community.”
The money awarded to the repairs is comprised of $450,000 received through Councilmember Steve Levin’s participatory budgeting; an additional $350,000 came through Levin as well. The last chunk of funding — $500,000 – came from Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams as part of his major capital budget to support parks in Brooklyn.
“The McGolrick Park Neighborhood Alliance should be applauded for their ongoing commitment to advancing the quality of life in Greenpoint,” said Adams. “I made the conscious decision this year to invest more in our parks, including McGolrick Park, because our parks are for every Brooklynite. It does not matter if you are young or old, if you are rich or poor – our parks bring together Brooklynites of every age, race and income level.”
Environmental activists and neighbors have fought for years to bring changes to the 125-year-old McGolrick Park, but with a renewed commitment, residents regrouped earlier this year to step up their efforts and formed the MPNA.
Since its establishment the group has received support from Community Board 1, represented by Chair Dealice Fuller and District Manager Gerry Esposito, which made the Park a priority among public spaces in the neighborhood; volunteers and support for fundraising initiatives came from the Open Space Alliance represented Saturday by Chair Adam Perlmutter and Director Ed Janoff; and the planting of an urban oasis in the Park as part of a Greenpoint Community Environmental Fund (GCEF). The grant allowed New York City Audubon to work in collaboration with MPNA and students from local schools like P.S. 110 to create an educational curriculum to look after the garden.
Brooklyn Parks Commissioner Kevin Jeffrey, who also attended the ceremony, said his department will oversee the reconstruction, which is expected to begin in early 2016.