The city’s Parks Department has begun a large-scale renovation on play areas at Dyker Beach Park, the Patrick O’Rourke Playground, and Wilson Playground.
New asphalt will be laid down in the pay area on 86th Street, and the basketball courts nearby will be upgraded with new pavement, color sealcoat, and brand-new hoops.
Brooklyn Community Board 10 alerted residents of the process in their newsletter after many locals called into the office, curious about what was happening and crossing their fingesr for a swimming pool, according to Josephine Beckmann, district manager for CB10.
“We’ve gotten a couple calls like ‘What’s going on there, they’re doing a lot of digging,” Beckmann told Brooklyn Paper.
Park employees closed off certain areas of the recreation center on March 15 and anticipate that the Dyker Beach Park project will be completed this fall. While the project is underway, the multi-purpose asphalt area and basketball courts at at 86th Street and 14th Avenue will be out of use, but park patrons will still have access to all other amenities including play equipment, bocce courts, the comfort station, and seating areas. Work at the Patrick O’Rourke Playground and Wilson Playground is expected to be completed by March 2025.
“That’s a big job and it’s costly so it’s very inconvenient in the short-term but in the long-term, once it’s completed, it’ll be great,” Beckmann said. “It was absolutely a top priority.”
She considers the upgrades a necessity as the park’s dilapidated paths and courts often flooded during storms.
“It was really much needed — the reconstruction of the path and asphalt, new benches — we were delighted,” she said. “The paths were really in bad shape. Proper drainage and overall maintenance of the fields especially in a field that’s used for athletics, it’s important to have proper draining.”
According to a parks department spokesperson, the renovation will also add green infrastructure elements to improve drainage and effectively manage stormwater — a longstanding issue in the nabe. In September, residents and politicians called on the Department of Environmental Protection to update the “outdated” sewer infrastructure that often caused flooding and sewage backup in basements.
“Climate change is bringing more intense storms to NYC that can overwhelm the capacity of the sewer system, and in many cases the sewers cannot be built any larger than they already are. This is why we are focused on creating a multi-layered system of defense that will combine the use of green infrastructure and traditional sewers to better manage these storms,” a spokesperson told Brooklyn Paper at the time. “We look forward to working with the Dyker Heights community on this important work.”
Council Member Justin Brannan and the Office of the Mayor, while under de Blasio’s administration, worked together to secure a total of $7,506,000 in funding for the project, according to the NYC Parks website.
“I made a promise to renovate just about every park and playground from Cropsey Avenue to Colonial Road and this is another promise kept,” Brannan said in a statement. “Folks have been asking for a renovation at Dyker Beach Park for a long time and I was happy to help make it happen. The best part is, we are just getting started and there is more to come. By the time I’m done, you’ll have trouble finding a park or playground in southern Brooklyn that hasn’t been given the love it deserves.”
For more coverage on Brooklyn parks, visit BrooklynPaper.com.