Prospect Park

NYC PARKS AND THE PROSPECT PARK ALLIANCE CUT RIBBON ON TWO NEW ENTRANCES TO PROSPECT PARK

NYC PARKS AND THE PROSPECT PARK ALLIANCE CUT RIBBON ON TWO NEW ENTRANCES TO PROSPECT PARK
Wednesday, January 27, 2021
No. 4
http://www.nyc.gov/parks

The first new entrances into the park since the 1940s

NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP, today joined NYC Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Vicki Been, Prospect Park Alliance President Sue Donoghue, City Council Majority Leader Laurie Cumbo, City Council Member Brad Lander, and NY State Assembly Member Jo Anne Simon to cut the ribbon on the recently completed new entrances to Prospect Park along Flatbush Avenue. The showcase project was completed through the Parks Without Borders (PWB) initiative and created the first new entrances to the park since the 1940s.

"Guided by input from New Yorkers, Parks Without Borders makes access to our beautiful park space across the city easier for all," said NYC Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Vicki Been. "Prospect Park's new Flatbush Avenue entrance and the adjacent street improvements bring the benefits of greenspace to even more New Yorkers. Thank you to the Parks Department, the Prospect Park Alliance, and our partners for their vision, leadership and commitment to seeing this project to completion."

“We are so excited to formally cut the ribbon on this transformative project-- a project I hold personally dear to me,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP. “The iconic Prospect Park is now even more inviting and accessible thanks to this investment from Mayor de Blasio and the efforts of our partners at the Prospect Park Alliance. When I imagined how Parks Without Borders (PWB) could improve and revitalize many of our beloved parks, I could not have pictured a more perfect example than Prospect Park. PWB has opened up new possibilities and new pathways for New Yorkers to enjoy our greenspaces for generations to come.”

“Prospect Park Alliance is committed to making Prospect Park open and accessible to all communities it borders, and we are grateful to be able to open pedestrian access while work concludes on the site," said Prospect Park Alliance President Sue Donoghue. "I want to thank Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYC Parks Commissioner Silver for their innovative Parks Without Borders initiative, and the many community members who came out in support of this project. These new entrances will serve as an important gateway to the park for our east side communities, and to the park's northeast corner, a focal point of our future restoration efforts."

"Although planned pre-pandemic, the unveiling of our new and improved Prospect Park could not be more timely. COVID-19 has provided further support for the notion that our parks are a fundamental part of the Brooklyn experience! I am so proud to stand alongside Mayor de Blasio, Borough President Adams, and my fellow elected officials to not only make Prospect Park more accessible but to invest in its beautification for all to enjoy ahead of Summer 2021,” said City Council Member Laurie Cumbo.

"Prospect Park has been a wonderful reprieve for myself and many others during this Pandemic period, said City Council Member Brad Lander. “The new Flatbush Avenue entrances and the perimeter restoration will offer greater access to the Park as well as continued enjoyment for all users! I am thrilled to be apart of this ribbon cutting and am looking forward to watching my constituents as well as all the residents of Brooklyn enjoy these new features!"

“Prospect Park is considered ‘Brooklyn’s Backyard’ and I want to thank Mayor Bill de Blasio, Sue Donoghue of the Prospect Park Alliance, and my colleagues, Borough President Eric Adams and Majority Leader Laurie Cumbo, and Council Member Brad Lander for their partnership and advocacy on this very important capital investment. I also want to thank NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver for spearheading this vision of what Prospect Park’s accessibility should look like as part of the The Parks Without Borders Initiative,” said City Council Member Mathieu Eugene. “I have been honored to support many significant upgrades to this green space over the years, and the opening of new entrances to the park demonstrates the value of community participation in improvements to our public spaces. This long-awaited upgrade to Prospect Park is a major step in how we will build a better borough and I am delighted to be a part of that process.”

Prospect Park was nominated for Parks Without Borders (PWB) with overwhelming support from the surrounding communities. The $3.2 million project, funded by Mayor Bill de Blasio and designed by the Prospect Park Alliance, includes a brand-new entrance in the northeast section of the park near the former Rose Garden, the site of future restoration by the Prospect Park Alliance, and a minor secondary entrance located just north of the Prospect Park Zoo. Both entrances feature new lighting, seating, and new landscaping. The major entrance aligns with a future DOT traffic signal and pedestrian crosswalk, intersecting a berm retained by a three-foot-high granite wall. This opens onto a small public plaza with two levels of terraced seating that provides views of the surrounding woodlands. Stepping stones will lead to an informal running trail atop a berm. The plaza also features a rock scramble of boulders sourced from the building site of nearby New York-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital. Settees will be installed along the paths and between the boulders.

Parks Without Borders, part of OneNYC, was announced in November 2015 with a call for community involvement. NYC Parks asked New Yorkers to nominate the sites that would benefit the most from a PWB improvement project. Utilizing an online survey and 37 conferences with citizens, Parks received more than 6,000 nominations for 691 parks—approximately 30 percent of our parks. The eight selected showcase projects, sharing $40 million in funding from Mayor de Blasio, were revealed in May 2016; and an additional $10 million has been applied to another 40 capital projects in progress.

The other PWB projects are: Fort Greene Park (Brooklyn); Van Cortlandt Park and Hugh Grant Circle / Virginia Park and Playground (Bronx); Jackie Robinson Park and Seward Park (Manhattan); Faber Park (Staten Island); and Flushing Meadows Corona Park (Queens).

The creation of these entrances is part of a comprehensive restoration of the Flatbush Avenue perimeter of Prospect Park. A second project -- funded with $2.4 million from Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams and Council Majority Leader Laurie Cumbo and led by the Prospect Park Alliance – restored the Flatbush Avenue perimeter from Grand Army Plaza to the Prospect Park Zoo to its original grandeur with new landscaping, an expanded promenade, and new furnishings. In addition, through $2 million in funding by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Prospect Park Alliance is restoring pedestrian paths in the northeast corner of Prospect Park to make the area more accessible to the communities who use the park. This project includes the reconstruction of approximately 1,200 linear feet of paths, new park benches and new lighting, much-needed tree care and the replacement of the play sand in the Zucker Natural Exploration Area. In addition, Prospect Park Alliance is in the early design phases of creating a covered horseback riding ring for this area of the park, just north of the Zoo, for public and therapeutic riding. This $4.1 million project is funded through the support of the New York City Council, Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams and New York Council Member Brad Lander. For more information on restoration projects in Prospect Park, visit prospectpark.org/tracker.

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