McGolrick Park Neighborhood Alliance plants daffodil bulbs in Greenpoint Park

Event Brings Parents and Kids Together for Latest Phase of Park Beautification

November 7, 2016 By Andy Katz Special to Brooklyn Eagle
The Davidson family — Ella, Annie and William — work together to plant their daffodil bulbs in McGolrick Park. Eagle photos by Andy Katz
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A classic autumn morning greeted members of the McGolrick Park Neighborhood Alliance as they gathered to initiate the latest phase in the park’s beautification. The planting of daffodil bulbs in various spots around the pavilion had originally been planned for late October, but forecasts of rain compelled the Alliance to postpone the event.

Konstancja Maleszyńska, Greenpoint parks project coordinator for the Open Space Alliance, which helped to sponsor the planting, was giving parents and kids final instructions: “We set bulbs in spots all around the park. When you find them, plant them in that general area,” she explained.

“We’ve been doing a lot of different programming around the park,” Carolina Roberts of the McGolrick Park Neighborhood Alliance said. “We wanted to make sure the park looked as gorgeous as it could be … this was a great way to get families and kids involved.”

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While the grown ups made their way to a table set up alongside one wall of the Pavilion to sign in and pour a cup of steaming coffee supplied by Variety Coffee Roasters, some of the smaller children availed themselves of a plastic sandbox for some last minute digging practice.

“This is really great turnout!” Maleszyńska said, before rushing off to help a volunteer find contractor bags.

Many of the older kids were drawn to a craft table set up by event sponsor, Kristin Melkin, artist and owner of Eckford Street Studio. “We’re providing activities for the kids,” she said, acknowledging the need for a Plan B when kids were on hand.

Some of the families were already busy at work.

Williamsburg residents Ella, William and Annie Davidson planted their bulbs with well-seasoned teamwork. “We live near the Greenpoint border,” William explained, handing Annie, 2, a walnut-sized daffodil bulb to drop in the hole she had dug. “We started coming here just after Annie was born. We think of this as our park,” Ella Davidson added.

The Patels also live in Williamsburg, but son Laxman, 5, used to attend P.S. 110, right across the street from McGolrick Park. “He was very excited to come back and visit his school,” mom Sadhya Patel said. “We’re very familiar with the park. We love it here.”

Matthew Dynak, another Monitor School alumnus, came all the way from Long Island City. His dad, David Dynak, explained: “We got an email from the principal. Matthew used to go here. These are his friends.” Meanwhile, Matthew carefully brushed the dirt from an earthworm before holding it up to be photographed. “He’s a worm lover,” Dynak signed.

Asked would he return the worm to the ground where its movements would aerate and mix the soil, Matthew paused: “I put 10 back already!” he protested.

Landscape designer Marni Marjorelle, whose firm Alive Structures was responsible for Broadway Stages’ Kingsland Wildflowers roof, was on hand with her daughter Natasha. The Greenpoint Community Environmental Fund, which funded the innovative rooftop garden, was also responsible for funding many of the improvements to McGolrick Park, including the daffodil planting, according to Maleszyńska.

More than a dozen families invested in both the park and the eventual arrival of spring by planting daffodils. But not everyone shared the Alliance’s enthusiasm.

Oscar Powers, 5 stayed at Kristin Melkin’s craft table, working out ever more elaborate sculptures of wood and soil and colored beads. “Not right now. I’d rather do this,” Oscar said when asked would he join the rest of his family to plant the daffodils. Standing alongside, classmate Leo Carluccio nodded in agreement.

“The moment we’re done,” Oscar’s mom, Christine Powers, sighed while overseeing younger brother Mickey’s tilling, “That’s when he’ll insist on planting.”


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