Feds dole out some nice green pork for Fort Greene Park

for The Brooklyn Paper
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Fort Greene Park is poised to get some real green from Congress — but even before the $300,000 federal grant is approved, everyone wants a piece of that pork-filled pie.

There’s certainly no shortage of improvements that could be made in the 162-year-old Olmsted and Vaux jewelbox. So let the lobbying begin!

“The park needs a lot of improvement, but I hope that the money goes to the area around the Prison Ships Martyrs Monument,” said Ted General, vice president of the Society of Old Brooklynites, which has a ceremony every year at the memorial to the thousands of American soldiers who died aboard British prison ships during the Revolutionary War.

“But $300,000 is not going to be enough,” added General, who’ll mark the 101st anniversary of the monument’s dedication on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Fort Greene Park Conservancy Chairman Charles Jarden said that he had other priorities.

“We really need to fix the drainage and sewer systems throughout the entire park,” he said. “The restrooms can’t be used until that is done.”

And, of course, you can’t use a restroom unless you know where it is, added Conservancy member Ruth “The Truth” Goldstein.

“We need to set up some priorities,” said Goldstein. “I know that we are certainly going to be working on adding more signs.”

Goldstein said the Conservancy had lobbied Rep. Ed Towns (D–Fort Greene) for the cash for more than a year.

The congressman came through — though the Senate, which has other things on its plate, still needs to sign off on the park pork.

Updated 5:35 pm, August 20, 2009
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