Southern Brooklyn

NYC Parks presents renovations to three playgrounds

April 16, 2021 Jaime DeJesus
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Three south Brooklyn parks are about to receive a major makeover.

Representatives from New York City Parks Department presented new design plans for the renovations of Shore Park and Parkway’s Vinland Playground, J.J. Carty Playground and Owl’s Head Park to Community Board 10 members during meetings on March 5 and April 6.

The Vinland Playground renovation, 94th Street and Ridge Boulevard, spans 0.50 acres with a $3.4 million budget.

Goals for its renovation include expansion of play opportunities for children, enhancement of environmental amenities at the site, and creating a better destination point within the park.

“This park definitely needs some updates since it’s been around for almost 40 years,” said NYC Parks designer Michael Leigh. “The spray shower hasn’t worked for many years. Four trees will be removed due to conditional removals.”

He also said that the playground doesn’t have play structures for all age groups.

The plans include new play equipment for children of all ages, and a platform that would allow children in wheelchairs to transfer up onto the walkway across the center, which also serves an entrance to the slides, water misters and new swings.

It will also feature a “1939 World’s Fair”-style bench, which will become the standard bench for Shore Road Park because it is considered a legacy park. 

However, some things will remain the same.

“Because the community wanted to have this park keep an open feeling, we didn’t want to fence in each individual play area,” Leigh said. “We put a low fence around the perimeters so the area can remain open and there can be a lot of cross-play.”

The J.J.  Carty Playground renovation, on Fort Hamilton Parkway between 94th Street and 101st street, spans 2 acres. Its budget is $4 million.

Photo courtesy of NYC Parks

“There aren’t really many playgrounds within a 5- to 10-mile walking distance from this site,” said Denise Mattes, designer landscape architect with NYC Parks. “It definitely stands on its own.”

Priorities include improving playground equipment, installing spray showers, reconfiguring the area so that it’s safer for the kids to play, improving tree conditions and fixing drainage areas.

Some of the playground’s smaller trees would be removed to fit the new equipment, but they would be replaced by new trees.

The renovation of the section of Owl’s Head Park on Colonial Road between 67th Street and Wakeman Place spans 0.7 acres and has a $4 million price tag.

Photo courtesy of NYC Parks

Goals for the area include upgrading active play capacity for the park and neighborhood, facilitating passive use and community events, and enhancing environmental amenities at the site.

“In general, we are keeping the same shape because of the mature shade trees and also the nice lawn area. We didn’t want to mess that up, but we did expand the play equipment area out a bit more,” said Aurora Davis, landscape architect for NYC Parks.

The Parks Department plans to close off one of the access routes to the basketball court to make room for a mini-accessible nature trail and play area.

One concern of some people who attended the meeting the meeting was what they perceived to be a lack of activities for children who use wheelchairs.

However, there are slated to be ADA-accessible ramps to all three play areas and the parks.

Last October, community input sessions were held to discuss these projects. They are slated to begin construction in the summer 2022, but are subject to change.

Councilmember Justin Brannan allocated funding for the upgrades.

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