2008-07-17 / Top Stories

City Unveils Unique, New Brownsville Playground

Officials prepare to cut ribbon to formally open new playground. 
Barry FischerOfficials prepare to cut ribbon to formally open new playground. Barry Fischer City officials, including Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe, City Councilman Charles Barron, along with 60 children from the Brownsville Summer Camp and others were present for last week's ribbon cutting ceremony to formally open the Brownsville Playground and its adjacent athletic field. The ceremony also unveiled the Rockwell Group's mobile Imagination Playground in a Box.

"Thanks to generous funding allocations from Council Member Barron and Mayor Bloomberg, the youth of this community have a brand new turf field for athletics as well as a revitalized playground," said Benepe.

The athletic field was converted from asphalt to synthetic turf for softball, soccer, and football. Additional improvements include new fencing, backstops, benches, and drinking fountains.

Funding for the $1.3 million project was allocated by Council Member Barron, with additional funds from the mayor's office. The second phase of the renovation will install state-of-the-art recreational lights for nighttime play. Barron has allocated $1.3 million for that project.

Youngsters didn't waste much time using new equipment.
David Avila/NYCParks &RecreationYoungsters didn't waste much time using new equipment. David Avila/NYCParks &Recreation The playground at the Brownsville Recreation Center, at Linden Boulevard between Mother Gaston Boulevard and Christopher Street, has also been reconstructed with new play equipment, a spray shower, drinking fountain, landscaping, basketball courts and a sitting area, funded by the mayor's office.

Barron had worked extensively to transform the Brownsville Recreational Center and its adjacent park into a vibrant, new area for neighborhood children.

"When you do this for a community, you bring down crime and bring up creativity," Barron said.

In addition to the playground and athletic field, Imagination Playground is essentially a giant box filled with blocks, cones, sprinklers and sand. It will remain at the site through Labor Day from 8 a.m. until dusk.

David Rockwell, of Rockwell Group, conceived Imagination Playground around the concept of unstructured, child directed "free play," where children determine their own activities, alone and with their peers.

The play advocacy group KaBOOM! joined forces with Rockwell Group and the city to bring the signature aspects of Imagination Playground to Brownsville

Neil S. Fredman

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