Downtown

Replacement of Cadman Plaza Park turf to start next week

August 10, 2023 Mary Frost
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DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — Parks Department work to replace the disintegrating and potentially toxic artificial turf in Cadman Plaza Park is set begin the week of Aug. 14. 

Black infill pellets made of shredded tires, long suspected to contain known carcinogens, have been spilling from the turf for years, sticking to the clothing, hands and hair of anyone playing there. 

Thousands of soccer, football and baseball games, along with camp and school events, picnics, protest marches and rallies, have taken their toll on the popular field, installed in the park in 2007.

This young girl strolls along piles of black pellets that have spilled from the disintegrating turf at Cadman Plaza Park in Downtown Brooklyn. Eagle photo by Mary Frost

Replacing the turf has long been a priority of the Cadman Park Conservancy, park-goers and the Brooklyn Heights Association. Councilmember Lincoln Restler’s office allocated $750,000 for the turf replacement, which could take two to three months to complete, BHA said in an email on Thursday.

In addition to the turf replacement, the shaded oval section at the north end of the park is currently undergoing a major, $6.4 million upgrade that includes a new lawn, new paths, replaced plumbing for water and drinking fountains, new planting and lighting.

“Park users are overjoyed” with the park’s transformation, Doreen Gallo, president of the Cadman Park Conservancy, told the Brooklyn Eagle in January. “A special thank you to Councilmember Lincoln Restler for allocation of the necessary funding and to Commissioner Martin Maher for his advocacy. The community has come together in advocating for these improvements over a very long time.”

Kids gather and play in Cadman Plaza Park after school. Eagle photo by Mary Frost

The new turf will likely not be made from potentially toxic shredded tires, as the Parks Department has gravitated to newer materials. “From what I’m aware of, the latest spec that we use is actually sand that’s coated in silicon,” Davey Ives, chief of staff for the Parks Department’s Brooklyn Borough Commissioner’s Office, said at a Community Board 2 meeting in October 2022.

While the turf is being worked on, the surrounding seating and grass around it will remain open to the public, BHA said.

Parks also plans to develop a new cafe to be built inside an existing former Parks maintenance building along Cadman Plaza West and Tillary Street.

Parks also plans to develop a new cafe to be built inside an existing former Parks maintenance building along Cadman Plaza West and Tillary Street. Eagle photo by Mary Frost
In addition to the turf field, the shady oval at the north end of Cadman Plaza Park is currently undergoing a major, $6.4 million upgrade. Eagle photo by Mary Frost


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