Williamsburg leaders protest plans for neighborhood ‘Plastic Park’
Community 'wants more greenery,' not plastic and cement
Activists are in an uproar over what some are referring to as “Plastic Park,” a nickname for plans to decorate Marsha P. Johnson State Park in Williamsburg by covering it in a large, colorful asphalt mural and thermoplastic fixtures, sheds, and flowers in memory of Johnson.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has sponsored the plans to renovate Marsha P. Johnson State Park, formerly East River State Park, to honor the LGBTQ civil rights activist.
According to the Marsha P. Johnson Institute, Marsha P. Johnson was an activist, self-identified drag queen, performer and survivor. She was an outspoken advocate for LGBTQ rights and a prominent figure in the Stonewall uprising of 1969.
“The community approves of renaming the park for the trans activist Marsha P. Johnson. However, this neighborhood with a very low square footage of green space wants more greenery, not a plastic and cement lot,” according to Elizabeth Mitchell, NYC native and author of “Lincoln’s Lie: A True Civil War Caper Through Fake News.”
According to Cuomo, “State Parks will consult with the New York City LGBTQ community on design and content.” However, the local community was not consulted before the plans were made public.
According to local resident Katie Naplatarski (mother of recently elected District Leader Kristina Naplatarski), “Our community got two days’ notice of the design and the park closure.”
The park renovations are slated to be complete by June 2021 and will cost approximately $14 million. According to Naplatarski, the to-be-constructed area of the park is approximately 50,000 square feet, more than an acre.
A North Brooklyn town hall meeting with State Sen. Brian Kavanagh’s office is slated to take place Thursday night, and community members and activists can voice their concerns.
Naplatarski said, “We will be asking Senator Kavanagh to make a meeting with elected officials, the Parks Department, the community board and community members as soon as possible and call for a stop in construction. This park was redesigned with no community input — a park that literally exists because of the local community!”
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