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Prospect Park Vale renderings
Rendering: courtesy Prospect Park Alliance

See renderings of Prospect Park's major renovation starting in 2022

The upgrade will give parkgoers even more ways to enjoy the great outdoors.

Shaye Weaver
Written by
Shaye Weaver

A historic swath of Prospect Park is getting a major facelift in 2022 that'll give parkgoers even more ways to enjoy the great outdoors.

On Thursday, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the city would put $40 million toward restoring The 26-acre Vale at Prospect Park, which comprises the old Children's Pool and the Rose Garden.

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The former Rose Garden, which opened with the park in 1867 as a children's playground and a horse-driven carousel, became a formal Rose Garden at the turn of the 19th century. It didn't last long because once the Brooklyn Botanic Garden in 1911, the Rose Garden fell into disrepair and the rose beds were removed, according to the Prospect Park Alliance.

Vale Prospect Park rendering
Rendering: courtesy Prospect Park Alliance

A similar fate was met by the Children's Pool, which was originally a small pond where children could sail miniature boats, surrounded by ornamental trees and shrubs. The pond's edge was replaced in the 1890s with a formal marble and granite balustrade, which still can be seen today. The pool area was nicknamed the "Vale of Cashmere" after a Thomas Moore poem because of its lush, colorful foliage. In the 1960s, red-brick walkways, lights and benches were added but in recent decades, it has fallen into a state of disrepair.

With the help of Hester Street and Grain Collective to engage over 2,000 community members in coming up with a renovation plan, the Prospect Park Alliance has committed to creating a sensory garden and rustic arbor, a nature play area for families, a landscaped amphitheater and a small building with flexible gathering space and restrooms for the community's enjoyment.

Now with funding in place, Prospect Park Alliance and NYC Parks will begin the project in early 2022, which will take a year for design, a year for procurement, and 12-18 months for construction.

The Vale Prospect Park
Photograph: courtesy Prospect Park Alliance

"Prospect Park is Brooklyn’s backyard," said Mayor Bill de Blasio. "It’s where I got married and raised my family, and where New Yorkers of all backgrounds come to spend time in nature. This historic $40 million in funding will ensure the Vale is restored to its full glory."

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