Mean green or good grass? Cadman Plaza Park opens

The Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

Foes of artificial rubber grass were dealt a resounding blow on Tuesday, when the city’s Parks Commissioner declared Cadman Plaza Park — complete with a new Astroturf playing field and a gorgeous, $2.9-million facelift — officially open.

“I must admit, I got a little nervous when we started getting calls about this,” said the Parks Department’s Brooklyn Borough Commissioner, Julius Spiegel, referring to the uproar that ensued when the agency announced in 2005 that it would lay down artificial grass in Cadman Plaza Park instead of the real thing.

“But I kept the faith and made sure everyone else did too,” said Spiegel.

Natural-grass partisans contend that fake grass is inappropriate in a neighborhood already choked for natural space. In April, Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum suggested that the city’s 70-odd Astroturf fields were some kind of toxic timebombs.

But at Tuesday morning’s opening, Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe countered with a laundry list of reasons why artificial turf is indeed appropriate.

“It doesn’t need fertilizer, pesticides, herbicides or fungicides,” said Benepe. “We don’t need machines to maintain it that use fossil fuels.”

He also played history teacher. “Before, this was a big area of dust. Some people called it a dustbowl. When it rained, it was a mudbowl.”

Now, it is a carpet of long, green fiber blades and rubber pellets made from recycled tires. It is soft to the touch, though in the mid-day sun, it’s hot (and not in the good way).

Still, the first reviews are in and they’re mostly positive.

“It’s much better than before, said Philip Hughes, who was playing Frisbee — barefoot. “Except, it gets really, really hot in the sun, and I burn my feet.”

The park reconstruction also included new trees, lawns, paths, benches, lighting fences and drinking fountains.

Updated 4:29 pm, July 9, 2018
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

Reasonable discourse

Comments closed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Keep it local!

Stay in touch with your community. Subscribe to our free newsletter: