Fort Greene

Borders of Prospect Park and Fort Greene Park to be opened to surrounding communities

May 25, 2016 By Mary Frost Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Fort Greene Park may lose some of its fortress-like walls after it is transformed using Parks Without Borders principles, which seek to better connect parks to their surrounding communities. Prospect Park will also receive funding for a reconstruction.  Eagle photo by Mary Frost

Some of the walls and fences surrounding Prospect Park and Fort Greene Park will be coming down and the edges of the parks beautified under a Parks Department initiative to make parks more open and welcoming.

The Parks Department and representatives of the G.I.V.E. (Getting Involved, Virginia Avenue Efforts) organization on Tuesday announced that Prospect Park and Fort Greene Park were two of eight parks chosen to receive reconstruction using Parks Without Borders design principles. Parks throughout the five boroughs were chosen.

Parks Without Borders aims to connect parks to the surrounding communities. The design principles open sight lines, beautify edges, and add furnishings to underutilized spaces.

Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver joined Councilmember and Park Committee Chair Mark Levine, and G.I.V.E. Founder and Director Nilka Martell at the Parks Without Borders Summit at the New School to make the announcement.

Mayor Bill de Blasio has dedicated $50 million to the program via One NYC.

“Parks Without Borders represents a giant step forward in our vision for the role green spaces play in New York’s communities. This innovative approach to integrating our parks more seamlessly into the fabric of the city will help New Yorkers feel even more at home in their neighborhood parks – or as we like to call them, NYC’s backyard,” de Blasio said in a statement.

The parks were chosen after online surveys and dozens of conferences at Community Board Meetings, NYC Parks Computer Resource Centers and public libraries. The Parks Department says it received more than 6,000 nominations for 691 parks.

Criteria included community support, park access, and current physical conditions and context.

“Parks Without Borders has engaged thousands of New Yorkers, who shared ideas for park improvements online and in person.  That’s proof positive of how excited New Yorkers are to increase accessibility and openness in their favorite parks,” said Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver.

“I would like to thank NYC Parks for choosing Fort Greene Park for its Parks without Borders initiative. It is vital that green spaces in our community are maintained and preserved so that all New Yorkers can enjoy the outdoors,” Assemblymember Walter Mosley said.

Councilmember Brad Lander said he was excited to hear that Prospect Park was selected as one of the “showcase” parks for the project.

“Prospect Park is Brooklyn’s backyard, and a place where families from across the borough go to spend time together and enjoy the outdoors,” Lander said. “The Parks Without Borders funding will further integrate Prospect Park into its many surrounding neighborhoods.”

The eight parks selected are:

Staten Island

•       Faber Park

Brooklyn

•       Prospect Park

•       Fort Greene Park

Bronx

•       Van Cortlandt Park

•       Hugh Grant Circle / Virginia Park and Playground

Manhattan

•       Jackie Robinson Park

•       Seward Park

Queens

•       Flushing Meadows Corona Park