The Parks Department says it will go after the party-planning company whose unpermitted event drew thousands of people — and massive amounts of litter — to Prospect Park on Sunday.
“In reference to your inquiry, we are looking into our options available to recover any damages,” Parks spokesman Phil Abramson wrote in an e-mail to The Brooklyn Paper hours after the newspaper’s Web site revealed on Monday that a Prospect Heights-based company called MIH Ventures had promoted a huge — and apparently illegal — gathering called “Heatwave” that trashed the once-stately greenspace.
“I’m appalled,” said one park user, who requested anonymity because she is a park volunteer. “I’ve never see it like this. It was a blanket of trash. This was some serious irresponsibility, not your usual weekend of picnic.”
The ninth annual gathering did not have the required permit, said Eugene Patron of the Prospect Park Alliance, making it impossible for park crews to know that such a big event was scheduled.
“It’s enough work just to clean up after all the permitted events!” said Patron.
City rules require a permit for any event that is expected to draw more than 25 people, he said.
“But in this case, there were hundreds,” Patron said. “There are pictures on Twitter!”
Though Patron said that city officials and Parks workers did not know about the event in advance, plenty of people did. MIH Ventures sent out an electronic invitation via Evite days earlier and promised a party that would be “the outdoor event of the summer.”
“For eight years straight, MIH Ventures has hosted the premiere event of the summer, as we bring together patrons, clients, associates, friends and family for a day in the park,” this year’s invitation read. “Last year, we had over 1,000 people bless us with their presence and as we continue to grow, so does the size of the event. This year we expect nothing but more beautiful faces, food, and fun.
“We’re taking over Prospect Park…are you with us!?!” it added.
MIH Ventures did not return calls and e-mails. No one was at the company’s office on Bergen Street in Prospect Heights this week, and a neighbor said that she had not seen company President Jonevan Hornsby in three days, an indication perhaps that he is in hiding.
As a result, our Inbox has been filled with complaints about the condition of the park.
“It took about 40 people and two Parks Department dumptrucks about four hours to clean up that mess,” said another park worker. “The thing that burns me about this the most was watching all the little kids streaming into the park [on Monday] as we were cleaning this mess up. About 400 small children are in day camp in that park as we speak, playing and sitting in the aftermath of that garbage, which was infested with rats.”
Worse, said the volunteer was that the party was easily found with a quick Google search.
“This barbecue has been going on for almost 10 years, with apparently no restrictions/requirements for trash and security?” she asked. “If you log on to Twitter, and do a search on Prospect Park, you can surf through the thousands of young people comments about how the cops watched them drink and smoke pot, and just basically get their party on for hours, and didn’t do anything about it until the park’s closing hour — then they shut the party down.
“I cleaned up hundreds of liquor and beer bottles, and more than two dozen drug baggies — what the hell?”
— with Jacob Kleinman