This East Flatbush park, bounded by Foster Avenue to the north, Albany Avenue to the east, Farragut Road to the south and East Fortieth Street to the west, is named for Paerdegat Basin, a one and one quarter mile-long channel that empties into Jamaica Bay in nearby Bergen Beach. Paerdegat Basin, named for a Dutch word meaning "horse gate" is a saltwater wetland area. Groves of trees such as the ailanthus, honey locust and smooth sumac in the basin's upland region provide a welcome habitat for many species of birds and animals whose numbers have dwindled in recent years.
Until recently, East Flatbush was simply a grouping of several smaller neighborhoods, including Farragut, where Paerdegat Park officially lies. Originally inhabited by the Canarsee Indians, the land now occupied by Farragut was settled by the Dutch who named it Flatbush. Until the twentieth century, the area was made up mostly of farmland. Farragut is named in honor of Admiral David G. Farragut (1801-1870) whose distinguished service in the United States Navy during the Civil War made him a hero so cherished by the people of New York City that they gave him $50,000 at the end of the war. A statue of Admiral Farragut, created in 1880 by eminent sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens (1848-1907), stands in Manhattan's Madison Square Park; Farragut Playground in the Bronx is also named in his honor.
In 1892, after the City pledged to connect the neighborhood via subway with other parts of Brooklyn, Henry Meyer's Germania Land Company bought 65 acres of East Flatbush farmland for development. Farragut remained a quiet community until the end of World War II when many apartment buildings were built to accommodate returning soldiers. In 1950, Farragut Woods, a six-acre home to muskrats, raccoons, otters, and the Flatbush Water Works, was cleared out to allow the construction of Vanderveer Estates which houses over 12,000 people.
The land for Paerdegat Park was acquired by purchase and condemnation in 1941 and became a park that same year. Councilman Lloyd Henry funded its $1 million reconstruction in 1999. Landscaped paths wind through revitalized flowerbeds, shrubbery, and shady sitting areas, past a sundial and a yardarm flagpole, all beneath the shelter of towering oak trees. The park's newly renovated recreation spaces include play equipment for children of all ages, a life-size camel sculpture, chess tables, handball and basketball courts, and a new ballfield with a hooded baseball backstop. In the summer, children can take a break from playing and cool off under the spray showers.