Gravesend

City pumping $3.4 million into renovating Scarangella Park

December 9, 2015 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Assemblymember Bill Colton, state Sen. Diane Savino and Councilmember Mark Treyger (left to right) enjoy the swings in the playground. Also pictured is First Deputy Parks Commissioner Liam Kavanagh. Photo courtesy of Treyger’s office

One of the Bensonhurst-Gravesend area’s largest playgrounds will be getting a whole new look thanks to $3.4 million in funding that will go toward a major renovation of the recreational space.

Councilmember Mark Treyger and state Sen. Diane Savino announced on Dec. 4 that they have each secured funding to renovate and redevelop Scarangella Park.

New York City First Deputy Parks Commissioner Liam Kavanagh, Assemblymember Bill Colton, community activists and local residents were all on hand at the park for the big announcement.

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Scarangella Park is bounded by Avenue U, Avenue V, West 13th Street and Stillwell Avenue, and is named in memory of NYPD Officer John Gerard Scarangella (1940-1981), a graduate of Lafayette High School (located adjacent to the park). Scarangella joined the NYPD in 1969. He was shot to death in the line of duty in 1981.

The funding — $2.4 million that Treyger secured in the city budget, and $1 million secured in the capital budget by Savino — is part of a larger effort by elected officials to focus attention on neglected recreational areas in Southwest Brooklyn, Treyger said.

“Outer-borough parks are finally starting to see the kind of investment and attention they have been sorely lacking for years. This funding is a breath of fresh air. Residents of Gravesend and Bensonhurst have the right to the same opportunities for outdoor activity as all other New Yorkers, and we are ensuring that right by working to provide residents with recreational spaces that match the standards they expect and deserve,” said Treyger (D-Coney Island-Gravesend-Bensonhurst).

Treyger, Colton and other elected officials recently announced that Lafayette Playground, located just across the street from Scarangella Park, will undergo a $5.4 million facelift as part of the Parks Department’s Community Parks Initiative.

The Community Parks Initiative is a Parks Department program targeting smaller public parks located in densely populated neighborhoods where there are higher-than-average concentrations of poverty, according to the agency’s website, www.nyc.gov.

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The Community Parks Initiative will pump $130 million in capital dollars to renovate smaller parks around the city.

The plans for Layafette Playground also call for it to be a participatory project in which local residents will be encouraged to contribute ideas and suggestions for the redesign plans.

The renovation work will give residents in the Bensonhurst-Gravesend area two beautiful parks to enjoy, officials said.

“By securing funding for renovation and redesign of both Scarangella Park and Lafayette Playground, we can approach the renovation and redesign of both spaces with a sensible plan that will ensure each receives a makeover that will complement the other and maximize opportunities for residents,” Treyger said.

“Our constituents deserve a park in their neighborhood that they can actually utilize, and for so long that was not a possibility, but very soon that will become a reality,” said Savino (D-Staten Island-Coney Island-Bensonhurst).

“Scarangella Park will be greatly improved thanks to the generous funding from Councilmember Treyger and Senator Savino,” New York City Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver said in a statement. “The residents of Bensonhurst and Gravesend are continuing to see needed improvements to their neighborhood spaces, both with Scarangella and the Community Parks Initiative renovations at nearby Lafayette Playground.”

Parks are important to the overall life of a community, according to Colton (D-Gravesend-Bensonhurst).

“A community develops and grows a stronger bond based on the small businesses, standing together on issues, and the public spaces that include parks,” Colton said. “A park is perfect for people of all ages, from the kids playing in the playground to the teens in the basketball courts to the seniors doing their daily stretches. It is great that parks in our neighborhood especially are receiving attention to be improved in order to create a better environment for all our community members.”


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