George Walker Jr. Park
Named in honor of George Walker Jr. (1925-1992), this park marks a pivotal community effort to reestablish the neighborhood as a cornerstone of Brooklyn. Prior to the park’s establishment, this property was home to P.S. 76, an elementary school abandoned after a fire in the early 1980s. Since the school remained abandoned, it became a site of illicit activities during the drug epidemic of the late 1980s. George Walker Jr., a retired machinist and police officer, gathered members of the community to form the Wyona Block Association. With neighborhood support, the organization conducted street patrols to combat the illegal activities centralize around the abandoned school.
Known to the community as the “unofficial mayor” of Wyona Street, Walker worked tirelessly with the City of New York to find a purposeful use for the site. As an active member of Brooklyn’s Community Board 5, the 75th Precinct Community Council, and Veteran’s Police Association, his initiative to create a safe and prosperous community had no bounds. Those who knew him remember his regular investigations of the abandoned school, walking cane in hand and cowboy hat on his head.
George Walker Jr. passed away in June 1992; however, his continuous advocacy for neighborhood improvement succeeded and plans for site redevelopment were approved in 1996. In 2001 the City of New York demolished the abandoned P.S. 76 and completed construction of a new community park. On July 21, 2004 NYC Parks renamed the site in his honor, forever memorializing Walker’s contributions.
Nestled between Wyona Street and Vermont Street, the park offers a range of recreational activities for the community and visitors to enjoy, including a full basketball court, handball courts, playground, and seating area.