The parks department last week unveiled Monsignor McGolrick Park’s new look after a massive renovation project.
After a $2.17 million capital project and a series of in-house renovations, the beloved park is now crisscrossed with a series of brand-new asphalt pathways and dotted with new benches, and the large grassy lawn has been reseeded.
“With these upgrades to McGolrick Park, we’re giving Brooklynites a renewed experience of this beloved neighborhood space,” said parks commish Sue Donoghue in a statement. “Enhanced pathways lead to moments of relaxation, new seating invites swapping stories amongst friends and family members, and a reseeded lawn allows creativity to flourish. These improvements are a testament to how much we can accomplish for our local greenspaces when city agencies and elected officials join forces with park partners and engaged volunteers.”
The capital project was officially wrapped up last year, six months ahead of schedule, according to the city’s parks department. After that project was done, the department continued the improvements — repairing the green space’s historic colonnade, adding a fresh coat of paint to the pavilion and to some old benches, and repairing and installing fencing around the park.
Horticulturists also pruned McGolrick’s mature trees and worked with local gardeners to spruce up gardens and landscaping — while local Council Member Lincoln Restler chipped in to add some new rodent-resistant trash cans, an in-house gardener, and new picnic tables where locals can gather and hang out.
“McGolrick Park is Greenpoint’s town square,” Restler said. When I entered office, neighbors were concerned about deteriorating conditions in our beloved park — but that has all changed due to great partnerships with NYC Parks, North Brooklyn Parks Alliance, and Assembly Member Emily Gallagher and the revitalization of the Friends of McGolrick Park group.”
Additional funding was allocated for new programming at the park — like an annual outdoor film screening — and Restler’s office provided money to support the new Friends of McGolrick Park, a volunteer-led group that works to keep the park beautiful and runs free events for locals.
On top of all the renovations, reps announced that the seasonal Down to Earth Farmer’s Market will now take place in the park all year round. The once-weekly market runs on Sundays, offering fresh-grown produce and food from local farmers as well as food and other goods made with locally-sourced materials. Regular vendors from New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut offer up olive oil, pickles, fruit and veggies, pastries, cheese, and more.
“Few green spaces in North Brooklyn are as beloved as Msgr. McGolrick Park, which offers as much horticulture and recreation as it does a platform for civic engagement,” said Katie Denny Horowitz, Executive Director of North Brooklyn Parks Alliance, in a statement. “These significant park investments are a response, in part, to the outpouring of local community collaboration, and we couldn’t be more proud to stand beside NYC Parks and [Council Member] Restler to celebrate our collective accomplishments.”
The more than 100-year-old McGolrick Park serves as a space for fun and for more serious community gatherings, like rallies, the farmer’s market, and more. The city first approved the $2 million capital project back in 2015, after locals pushed for a large-scale renovation of the park, which had begun to show its age. A separate project spruced up the park’s dilapidated playground in 2018.