Borough Park

Di Gilio Playground getting $2.8 million facelift

May 31, 2017 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Brooklyn Parks Commissioner Marty Maher, Councilmember David Greenfield, Community Board 14 District Manager Shawn Campbell and Board 14 Chairman Alvin Berk (left to right) mark the groundbreaking of the Di Gilio Playground reconstruction project. Photo courtesy of Greenfield’s office
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A popular playground that straddles the border between Borough Park and Kensington is getting a $2.8 million renovation, according to Councilmember David G. Greenfield, who said the revamped version of the park will include new play equipment designed to meet the needs of today’s children.

Greenfield (D-Borough Park-Midwood-parts of Bensonhurst) recently held a ceremony to mark the start of the renovation project at Di Gilio Playground on Avenue F and McDonald Avenue.

“I think it’s wonderful when a child can play in the same park that their mother or father did, but they shouldn’t have to use the same rusty swing set. We’re essentially giving the families in our community a whole new park to enjoy,” Greenfield stated.

Brooklyn Parks Commissioner Marty Maher, Community Board 14 Chairman Alvin Berk and Board 14 District Manager Shawn Campbell all joined Greenfield for the groundbreaking ceremony.

The scope of the work will include the construction of new, separate play areas for toddlers, children aged 2 to 5, and children aged 5 to 12, as well as adult exercise equipment and game tables. A six-foot perimeter fence will be erected and security lighting will be installed to increase security and safety, Greenfield said.

“We are gutting the entire park in order to quadruple the play area for thousands of children. It’s a unique opportunity, and we are grateful to the Parks Department for making it come together,” Greenfield said in a statement. “We’re updating the playground to meet the needs of the community today. We are going to have new equipment that is going to be enjoyed by so many more people.”

Greenfield is providing the $2.8 million for the project through his discretionary budget. The project is expected to take a year to complete.

Di Gilio Playground is named in memory of Dep. Insp. Joseph Di Gilio, (1929-1986) who served in the New York City Police Department (NYPD) for more than 30 years, including a lengthy tenure at the 70th Precinct in Brooklyn.

Di Gilio was well known for his work in the NYPD’s anti-drug programs, according to a biography on the Parks Department’s website,

During his time at the 70th Precinct, Di Gilio organized Operation Closedown, a program in which NYPD cracked down on smoke shops selling drugs. He also started the NYPD’s Special Narcotics Abatement Program, also known as SNAP.

The construction project marks the first major renovation in Di Gilio Playground in more then 20 years, according to Greenfield.

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