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Brooklyn's Fort Greene Park is getting a major facelift

NYC parks is planning a new basketball court, an adult fitness area, barbecue stations and more.

Shaye Weaver
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Shaye Weaver
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Fort Greene residents will soon have a like-new park to walk, play and relax in.

NYC Parks just released a new reconstruction plan for Fort Greene Park and it includes a new basketball court, an adult fitness area, and barbecue stations, new landings at the Prison Ship Martyrs’ Monument, reconstructed entrances and stairs as well as improved wheelchair access and new sidewalks.

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The $24 million project combines designs from two previously pitched projects that will focus on improving the western/Myrtle Avenue side of the park in particular. The project will also add new trees, plantings, and security lighting throughout the park pathways. 

The previous plans included removing trees, which neighbors took issue with and sued the parks department over. This time, the project will undergo an Environmental Assessment Statement to make sure the new plan is within city environmental guidelines.

Fort Green Park project
Photograph: Courtesy NYC Parks

The path between Dekalb and Willoughby avenues will be redone and the entrances at Willoughby and St. Edwards streets will be reconstructed. The stairs at the southwest corner at Dekalb Avenue will also be rebuilt.

The project is part of NYC's "Parks Without Borders," initiative that asked New Yorkers to nominate parks and other sites that should be improved. NYC Parks used an online survey and held 37 conferences, which yielded more than 6,000 nominations for 691 parks—approximately 30 percent of NYC's parks. Fort Greene Park was one of them.

"We are committed to reimagining and restoring Fort Greene Park, and we’ve made sure that accessibility is at the forefront of the work we are doing," said NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver. "The expanded scope of this project will undergo review by an environmental engineer and we are confident that we will be able to move forward with our plans for this park. Fort Greene Park is the focal point of this neighborhood and the community deserves an accessible, inclusive, and renewed space where they can feel safe and welcomed."

The park, which was originally the site of forts used during the Revolutionary War and War of 1812, was designated as Brooklyn's first park in 1847 after decades of use as a public space. About 20 years later, landscape architects Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux (the same designers for Central Park and Prospect Park) designed its new layout and in 1897, it was renamed from Washington Park to Fort Greene Park.

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