Jamaica Bay and the Rockaways
Renovations Of A Different Tune In Store For Canarsie Park
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe was joined today by Council Member Lewis Fidler and seventh and eighth grade students from the St. Jude School to announce the start of construction on the $5.4 million Phase I of Canarsie Park, which will feature a music pavilion, regulation-size cricket field, a picnic grove with tables, and forested wetlands, to name a few of its amenities.
"The neighbors of Canarsie Park have worked hard to get this great park upgraded, and thanks to the support of Council Member Lew Fidler and Borough President Marty Markowitz, we will soon provide the community with a state-of-the-art facility to rival the great parks of this City," said Commissioner Benepe.
"This is the beginning of the transformation of Canarsie Park into one of New York's premier parks," said Council Member Fidler. "I've spent four years fighting for the millions needed to get this done, but the people of Canarsie and southern Brooklyn deserve it."
"The improvements to this park will benefit Canarsie residents and all Brooklynites for years to come by ushering a beautiful green space into the 21st Century while renovating the leisure and recreational facilities every community relies on for fun and exercise," said Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz. "I commend Council Member Fidler for his outstanding commitment to parks in his district, and I am especially proud to support the creation of a new cricket field — as one of the fastest-growing sports in the borough among one of our most vibrant communities, Caribbean-Americans, in a neighborhood that deserves it, Canarsie, it’s a hat trick for Brooklyn!"
The completed first phase of Canarsie Park will also include new asphalt pathways, meadows and landscaping, drinking fountains, sidewalks, a perimeter rail, and security lighting. Benches seating will be provided along the primary pathways, and the cricket fields will be outfitted with bleacher seating. The Park’s existing community gardens will receive new perimeter fencing.
Naturalized parkland and forested wetland will be restored in the southwest corner of the Park, which was formerly a Department of Sanitation compost site. It will also include a woodland buffer zone to protect the site from the adjacent Belt Parkway. Phase I will be completed thanks to the allocations of Borough President Markowitz and Council Member Fidler, for $1 million and $4.4 million, respectively.
Council Member Fidler also allocated another $1.1 million towards the second phase of Canarsie Park, which will include further renovations to the pathways and nature trails, and the installation of a hilltop windmill. Further funding is still required for Phase II’s reconstruction.
Canarsie Park, which originally stretched from 93rd Street to 88th Street, was extended three times in the 1930s and 40s to include land from the Department of Docks and parcels of land from the Board of Estimate. In the 1950s, Canarsie underwent even further expansion, with Parks Commissioner Robert Moses’ request for a land transfer of property previously used for temporary housing, and the assignment of another parcel at the corner of Fresh Creek Basin and Seaview Avenue. Canarsie Park now occupies 132 acres and is the fourth largest park in Brooklyn.
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