Prospect Park


Tuesday, May 24, 2016
No. 32

More than 6,000 Nominations Received Through Community Engagement Informs Selections

Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP, today joined Council Member and Park Committee Chair Mark Levine, and G.I.V.E. Founder and Director Nilka Martell to reveal the eight showcase parks selected for reconstruction using Parks Without Borders design principles. Launched in November 2015, supported by $50 million in Mayoral OneNYC funding, the new design concept better connects parks and communities and improves access by opening sight lines, beautifying edges, and adding furnishings to underutilized spaces. The announcement was made today during the agency’s PARKS WITHOUT BORDERS summit at The New School.

Parks Without Borders launched in November 2015 with a call for community involvement. NYC Parks asked New Yorkers to nominate the best sites. Utilizing an online survey and 37 conferences with citizens at Community Board Meetings, NYC Parks Computer Resource Centers, and public libraries, Parks received more than 6,000 nominations for 691 parks, or over 30% of our park.

Drawing from this community input, NYC Parks chose eight parks based on criteria including community support, park access, and current physical conditions and context. The eight parks selected are:

Staten Island
• Faber Park

• Prospect Park
• Fort Greene Park

• Van Cortlandt Park
• Hugh Grant Circle / Virginia Park and Playground

• Jackie Robinson Park
• Seward Park

• Flushing Meadows Corona Park

“Parks Without Borders represents a giant step forward in our vision for the role green spaces play in New York’s communities. This innovative approach to integrating our parks more seamlessly into the fabric of the city will help New Yorkers feel even more at home in their neighborhood parks – or as we like to call them, NYC’s backyard,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“Parks Without Borders has engaged thousands of New Yorkers, who shared ideas for park improvements online and in person. That’s proof positive of how excited New Yorkers are to increase accessibility and openness in their favorite parks,” said Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP. “Thanks to Mayor de Blasio’s OneNYC funding for this major placemaking initiative, we will positively transform New Yorkers’ experience of public space.”

“Integrating nature and open space into our daily lives comes with real benefits, which is why every neighborhood should have access to quality parks,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “I look forward to seeing how the Parks Without Borders program can transform Seward Park and Jackie Robinson Park, and light the way toward better design for all our parks. New Yorkers will get the most benefit from our parks when they’re welcoming spaces that integrate fully with the communities around them.”

"Seward Park is a central part of our community that has too often been left behind -- its selection as a park without borders is great news," said State Senator Daniel Squadron. "This initiative is an exciting step in continued parks access and equity efforts, and I thank Commissioner Silver for including Seward Park. The Seward Park Conservancy, with support from Community Board 3, was instrumental in moving this proposal forward, and I thank them for their continued commitment to our community."

“I would like to thank NYC Parks for choosing Fort Greene Park for its Parks without Borders initiative. It is vital that green spaces in our community are maintained and preserved so that all New Yorkers can enjoy the outdoors. These added resources to the park will continue to make our neighborhood a great place to live,” said Assembly Member Walter T. Mosley.

"Parks Without Borders is an innovative concept that will allow all New Yorkers ‎more convenient access to parks and public spaces. I am excited that Van Cortlandt Park in my district was chosen as 1 of the 8 parks in the inaugural round of capital renovations. I have long advocated that Van Cortlandt Park needs to be more integrated into the community and these renovations will do just that," said Council Member Andrew Cohen.

"I’m very excited to hear that Prospect Park has been selected as one of the showcase parks for the Parks Without Borders project, said Council Member Brad Lander. “Prospect Park is Brooklyn’s backyard, and a place where families from across the borough go to spend time together and enjoy the outdoors. The Parks Without Borders funding will further integrate Prospect Park into its many surrounding neighborhoods. Thank you to NYC Parks for this significant investment in our Park.”

"From outdoor performances and barbecues to nature walks and sports tournaments, millions of New Yorkers and tourists visit Prospect Park and Fort Greene Park every year. These green spaces are among the most popular destinations in Brooklyn for social, cultural, and recreational activities. Parks Without Borders is a powerful mechanism that engages New Yorkers in community conversations to determine how the City of New York can allocate fiscal resources to increase accessibilty for all. I am proud that the residents of the 35th Council District and beyond can continue to celebrate milestones and make new memories," said Council Member Laurie A. Cumbo.

"The Prospect Park Alliance is committed to making the Park open and accessible to all communities bordering the Park," said Prospect Park Alliance President Sue Donoghue. "We are thrilled that so many community members came out in support of our proposal, and I want to thank Commissioner Silver and NYC Parks for their support and vision through Parks Without Borders."

“We are very excited to see this first phase of Parks Without Borders begin. By removing tall fences, uninviting gates and bad sidewalks, New Yorkers will be more able to use and enjoy our beautiful parks. This program is a wonderful part of Commissioner Silver’s commitment to caring for New York’s open spaces,” said Tupper Thomas, Executive Director of New Yorkers for Parks.

“Our neighborhood is honored and excited to have Seward Park chosen for Parks Without Borders. We look forward to working with the parks department on its vision for our park and we stand ready to be helpful in realizing it. Seward Park; created in the 19th century and flourishing in the 21st!” said Amy Robinson, President of the Seward Park Conservancy.

"The Parks Without Borders initiative empowers and engages the community in the decision making process of their local green spaces. Providing this opportunity to the public helps them develop a sense of ownership, and transforms the park experience,” said Bronx community advocate and Founding Director of Getting Involved, Virginia Avenue Efforts, Nilka Martell.

The eight showcase parks will share a $40 million in capital funds to improve the current layout, condition, and relationship to their surroundings. The Parks Without Borders design approach focuses on park entrances, edges and adjacent spaces. In selecting the eight showcase parks, NYC Parks considered community support; park access, in line with NYC Parks and OneNYC’s goal to have 85 percent of New Yorkers live within a walk to a park; and the parks’ physical conditions and context—the park’s current layout, condition, and relation to its surroundings.

In addition to these eight showcase sites, NYC Parks has already succeeded in incorporating Parks Without Borders design concepts to 51 projects. Thirty-two of these are FY2015 Community Parks Initiative launched reconstructions. NYC Parks expects to impact hundreds of more parks by advancing Parks Without Borders concepts within existing project scopes and budgets.

Today’s announcement at the PARKS WITHOUT BORDERS: IDEAS FOR THE NEXT GENERATION OF URBAN PARKS AND PUBLIC SPACE, a summit on the future of parks and urban spaces, brought together the leading minds in parks and public spaces from NYC and across the country. The summit featured a keynote address by Pulitzer Prize-winning architecture critic Paul Goldberger, and conversations with world-renowned landscape architect Signe Neilson and Commissioner Silver.

Directions to Prospect Park

Know Before You Go

Prospect Park

The Bailey Fountain is turned off in preparation for the plaza's renovation, which is slated to begin in July 2022. Visit the Prospect Park Capital Projects Tracker to learn more about the project.

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