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Leif Ericson Park

A Playground Built For A Viking: Parks Breaks Ground At Leif Ericson Park

Tuesday, May 15, 2007
No. 61

Commissioner Adrian Benepe joined City Council Members Vincent Gentile and Sara Gonzalez, Brooklyn Borough President’s Representative Elizabeth Ernish, Community Board 10 District Manager Josephine Beckmann, and 4th graders and kindergarten students from P.S. 69 to break ground on $1.4 million in renovations at Leif Ericson Park in Brooklyn.

"New York City’s children deserve the best recreation facilities to develop their bodies and minds. Following this renovation, that is exactly what Leif Ericson Park will have," said Commissioner Benepe. "Youngsters will delight in the new playground with a Viking Ship theme. Just as the park's namesake Leif Ericson explored North America, children can make their own discoveries while playing in this state-of-the-art playground."

Thanks to an allocation of $1.4 million, Parks is completely renovating the playground on the 8th Avenue side of Leif Ericson Park. The City Council allocated $1,185,000, including $1,040,000 from Council Member Gentile and $145,000 from Council Member Gonzalez. An additional $215,000 was funded by Mayor Bloomberg.

The playground will include new play equipment with a Viking Ship theme, in honor of the park’s namesake, the Norwegian explorer Leif Ericson. It will also include new swings, a synthetic turf volleyball area, basketball half-courts, game tables, and benches. A picnic area with accessible seating, lush perimeter gardens, trees and shrubs will be added for the enjoyment of all visitors.

This parcel of land was acquired from 1895 to 1897 and dedicated as a public park in 1925. During World War II, the U.S. Army occupied the property and it was rehabilitated by Parks in 1945.

The park is named for the Viking, Leif Ericson (c.960-c.1020), who is known as the first European to set foot on the North American continent, nearly 500 years before Christopher Columbus. In keeping with the day's theme, the children in attendance wore Viking helmets while snacking on Swedish fish, Danish cookies, and Icelandic water.

Directions to Leif Ericson Park

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