Thursday, February 28, 2008

New McCarren Park Group Forming

McCarren Park Field

We were going to categorize this as an "Upcoming" event, but it's more than that because the meeting is about forming a group tentatively called United Friends of McCarren Park that will try to build support for and work on a variety of McCarren Park-related issues. An email has gone out from the Greenpoint Waterfront Association for Parks & Planning (GWAPP) about the meeting, which will take place on Monday (3/3) at 7PM at Automotive High School on Bedford Avenue. The email says in part:
The best way to get the parks we deserve is through persistent community attention to each park. GWAPP...wants to help kickstart a big (and sustained) Push for Parks all across our North Brooklyn neighborhoods by helping to create (where one doesn’t exist) support (where one does exist) and unite (where, as with McCarren Park, several active groups co-exist) park-specific Friends Groups.

The purpose of these groups will be to gather information about the way the community uses the park, the issues and needs of each park and, most importantly, establish a community representative (or two or six or twenty) of that park, acting as a watchdog and persistently (key word) pushing for improvements – whether from the city, the Open Space Alliance (, neighbors, local businesses, grants…

I am volunteering to help set up an initial meeting of what, for now, might be called the United Friends of McCarren Park. We have an opportunity, with this particular Mayor and the promises made regarding the McCarren Park Pool, Ice Skating Rink and SkatePark, to push for real improvements in McCarren Park. We need to make sure we have a unified and coherent voice in the way the park is maintained and plans made for future developments. With the Pool reconstruction underway (design-wise at least) it seems the various user-groups of this potentially wonderful park have a shared purpose. Let’s use it to make the park better.
Among the issues up for discussion are: requesting a comprehensive survey & study of park usage & potential, a status update on the McCarren Pool project, seeing if "comfort stations" adjacent to the pool can be rebuilt first, seeing if the park's wading and spray pool can be running by summer and the fascinating topic of "Fieldhouse 'Comfort Stations'--the most disgusting bathrooms in Brooklyn?" Also up for discussion are benches & paths, gardens & trees, dog runs, a plan to put artificial turf on a paved field next to the park's tennis courts, a plan to study de-mapping Driggs and/or Union Avenue through the park and entertainment programming, which is enough for a 12-hour meeting. The emails says that "Anyone interested in working together to improve McCarren Park is welcome."

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