Gaining ground! Panel approves Bergen Beach Playground redevelopment

Gaining ground! Panel approves Bergen Beach Playground redevelopment
Parks Department

They’re swinging into action!

The city will gussy up the tired Bergen Beach Playground on E. 51st Street. And employees from nearby PS 312 on Avenue T, whose students use the park during recess and lunchtime, are happy to see many of their suggestions included in the plans, one school honcho said.

“They really did listen to the people who came out and it seems like they really heard us,” said parent coordinator Carol Pino, who said locals asked for spray showers and more play equipment for the youngest park-goers during a scoping meeting last month.

The Parks Department aims to construct a new synthetic turf field, basketball court, play areas for kids 2–12, and a spray shower, while removing the handball courts, according to a $4.8 million plan the mayor’s office is funding. It will also put in new plants and benches, officials said.

Community Board 18 unanimously supported designs for the playground, which sits between Avenues N and T, in a 29–0 vote on April 20.

The education department also owns the piece of land that extends from Bergen Beach Playground to Avenue N, which has been sitting vacant for years — and locals hope the city will put the plot to use as a garden, a board honcho said.

“We would look to promote that,” said district manager Dorothy Turano.

But such a garden won’t germinate any time soon — the city has no plans for the site and no money set aside to build anything there, a Department of Education spokeswoman said.

“We don’t have any immediate plans to make changes to the space,” said Toya Holmess.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at jcuba@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.