Gravesend Park renovation running ahead of schedule
A major renovation project in Gravesend Park, which began last year, will likely be completed by this fall, months ahead of schedule, according to Councilmember David G. Greenfield, who helped secure city funding the project.
“I used to play in this park when I was a kid, and unfortunately, parts of it haven’t seen any significant renovations since then,” Greenfield said. “When I got elected, fixing the 18th Avenue Park was my first priority. After so many years of hard work, I’m thrilled that we are finally seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. This is going to be the nicest park in southern Brooklyn.”
Local residents often refer to the park as 18th Avenue Park.
Despite the fact that the 6.3-acre park has Gravesend in its name, the recreation area is actually located in Borough Park, stretching from 55th Street to 58th Street, between 18th and 19th avenues.
Greenfield (D-Borough Park-Midwood-Bensonhurst) announced on May 12 that the reconstruction work in the park is likely to be finished before the Jewish holiday of Sukkot in October.
Borough Park has a large population of Orthodox Jews, many of whom bring their children to Gravesend Park.
The renovation project was originally scheduled for completion in December of 2016, Greenfield said.
Greenfield said he advocated for a faster timeline because he felt that it was important for work to be finished while the weather would still be warm to enough allow local residents to enjoy the new amenities.
A spokesperson for the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, the agency responsible for the renovation work, said the $5.45 million project was funded by Greenfield, who secured $2.65 million; the mayor’s office, which put in $1.8 million; and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, who kicked in $1 million.
The scope of the work included the construction of four new playgrounds, two new baseball fields and new basketball and handball courts, Greenfield said. New swing sets are also being constructed, and the newly renovated park will feature additional paths, landscaping and seating areas.
At a ceremony in May of 2015 to break ground and mark the start of the project, city officials acknowledged that Borough Park has precious little park land for families to enjoy.
“This is a district that has a large population, and unfortunately, a dearth of park land,” Brooklyn Parks Commissioner Kevin Jeffrey said.
To help bring more green spaces to the neighborhood, Greenfield said he has secured $35 million for parks improvements and to create new parks in his council district. Among the projects is the creation of Borough Park’s first new park in years, a recreation space in the P.S. 192 schoolyard.
Seth Low Park, Kolbert Park, Di Gillio Playground and Friends Field are all slated for renovations.
“Parks are not a luxury, they are a necessity,” Greenfield said.
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