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Lawn and order! Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier 1 grass finally opens • Brooklyn Paper

Lawn and order! Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier 1 grass finally opens

Now this is a park, say opponents of housing inside the Brooklyn Bridge Park development.
The Brooklyn Paper / Andy Campbell

Pier 1 is now officially usable!

A month after Brooklyn Bridge Park’s historic opening, the main design element of the pier — a healthy green 2.7-acre lawn — finally welcomed its first feet on Thursday morning.

Now visitors — but not their dogs — can finally stray from the winding cement pathways and picnic, play Frisbee and generally hang around.

But there are some rules.

“There will be no dogs, no chairs and no big soccer games on the lawn,” said Jeff Sandgrund, director of operations for the greenspace inside the Brooklyn Bridge Park waterfront development. “It’s a passive lawn — people can use it within reason.”

Vague, maybe, but The Brooklyn Paper staff went to the foot of Old Fulton Street to test the limits. Running? Check. Loitering? Go for it. We even pulled out a kiddy baseball bat and a plastic ball. You’re not going to pull off a pick-up game on Pier 1, but the great American game of catch with your kid is allowed.

Everyone seemed to want to get high on this grass.

“We love it,” said DUMBO resident Jen Dorfman, who headed straight for the pier with her friend Julia Arbesfeld when they heard that the grass, which had remained off limits so that the roots could strengthen, was open.

The lawn’s debut comes after a series of hurdles for the Empire State Development Corporation in its pursuit to open five more piers as part of a self-sustaining, 1.7-mile green space project along the DUMBO and Brooklyn Heights waterfront. Early this month, children were getting burned and injured on the play equipment at Pier 1, setting off a flurry of complaints from its visitors.

A playground on Pier 6 at the foot of Atlantic Avenue will open later this spring. And more open space on Pier 1 will open shortly after that.

The bulk of the 85-acre greenspace — consisting of Piers 2 through 5 — are not slated for completion at this point while financing is lined up.

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