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Pay to playground: McGolrick Park scores spruce-up • Brooklyn Paper

Pay to playground: McGolrick Park scores spruce-up

Dirty and dangerous: The city has not updated the playground equipment at McGolrick Park since the 1980s.
Photo by Jason Speakman

The playground at McGolrick Park will finally get a much-needed facelift thanks to $1.3 million in taxpayer money, activists announced last week.

The Greenpoint playground, which activists said has not been worked on since the 1980s, has become rickety and dangerous while the city has lavished attention on nearby green spaces, said McGolrick partisans who are pleased as punch about the new financial commitment.

“McCarren and other parks in Williamsburg and Greenpoint have been getting a lot of attention, but McGolrick has been neglected, so we are glad that is going to change,” said Mike Schade, a member of the McGolrick Park Neighborhood Alliance. “We think it is a neighborhood treasure and we want to treat it like one.”

At the playground, ripped ground covering has tripped and injured kids, the wooden planks in the play equipment are splintering, paint is chipping, and benches are falling apart, Schade said.

Neighbors scored $450,000 from a round of participatory budgeting voting this spring, but the amount was only a third of what was needed, another Alliance member said.

“That was enough for a down payment, but that was about it,” Martha Holstein said.

Going to the mat: The old, decrepit matting at the McGolrick Park playground has injured children.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

The extra money came through $500,000 in capital funding from Borough President Adams and $300,000 in discretionary funding from Councilman Steve Levin (D–Greenpoint).

“At long last, McGolrick Park will be getting much needed renovations, making the park and playground a safer and more enjoyable place for park goers of all ages,” Levin said.

Securing the repairs after a short burst of community organizing was extremely gratifying, Holstein said.

“We are walking on air at being able to accomplish so much in our first year of intensive efforts,” she said.

The parks department is still working on a plan for the playground overhaul, and should have a rough draft ready for the public by early 2015, according to Holstein. She said she hopes the city will start construction sometime next year.

Next on the Alliance’s agenda is trying to get park-wide problems fixed, including smoothing cracks in the concrete paths, and installing a draining system to end the flooding that can linger throughout the greensward for hours or days after a heavy rainfall.

In need: Much of the paint has peeled off of the ancient playground at McGolrick Park.
Photo by Jason Speakman

Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at dfurf‌aro@c‌ngloc‌al.com or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her at twitt‌er.com/‌Danie‌lleFu‌rfaro.

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