This past Monday, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver announced that construction has begun on four new capital projects in Brooklyn.
Representing more than a $31 million investment, the projects are focused on adding to and improving green space throughout the borough.
“A recovery for all of us means increasing access to parks in historically underserved neighborhoods and creating greener, healthier communities,” de Blasio said. “These four Brooklyn parks will bring joy to and serve New Yorkers for generations to come.”
The four projects include the construction or renovation of parks in multiple neighborhoods.
In Williamsburg, new recreational facilities will be added to Bushwick Inlet Park at 50 Kent Avenue. The additions include new seating areas, expansive lawns with views of Manhattan, and water sprinklers for the summer.
“For years, North Brooklyn has been asking ‘where’s our park?’” said Assemblywoman Emily Gallagher. “With this historic investment at 50 Kent, we’re one giant step closer to making the full Bushwick Inlet Park a reality.”
In Ocean Hill, Callahan Kelly Playground will receive its own renovation. The project will add fitness equipment and a skate park.
“This needed upgrade continues the legacy of Ocean Hill-Brownsville, as a neighborhood where residents can live, play, and raise a family,” said Assemblywoman Latrice Walker.
DUMBO’s Susan Smith McKinney Steward Park will be reconstructed with a new playground, fitness area, synthetic turf, and performance stage. Formerly Bridge Park II, Susan Smith McKinney Steward Park was officially renamed last December as part of Parks’ efforts to honor the Black experience.
Susan Smith McKinney was the first African-American woman in New York State to receive a license to practice medicine. She was born, raised, lived, and practiced in Brooklyn.
“Green spaces are critical for wellbeing, for children to play and as a gathering point for the community,” Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez agreed in her own statement. “These new projects will go a long way in bringing park equity to places like North Brooklyn and throughout the borough.”
Lastly, La Guardia playground in Williamsburg will be furnished with new play equipment, seating, landscaping, and a spray shower.
The La Guardia renovation will be completed through the Community Parks Initiative (CPI), the City’s first-ever parks equity initiative. Phase I of this CPI project was completed in fall 2020 and reconstructed the sports courts and plaza in the southern part of the park.
“It’s great to see our Parks capital projects getting underway again,” said Councilman Steve Levin. “Both of the long-awaited projects in District 33 will add much needed open space for people to use.”