Kensington/Borough Park – It is amazing what a lot of determination and a bit of money can accomplish. When Kensington neighbor Jole Carliner started advocating for improvements to Dome Playground back in 2010, it was rather neglected.
Situated on the edge of Kensington and Borough Park, where Cortelyou Road begins at McDonald Avenue, it is now a beautiful place. Here are some photos from May 24th, 2010, when Jole and I went for a walk around the park and tried to imagine how much better it could be.
The park was overgrown.
There was little play space, and drainage was an ongoing issue.
Attempts at landscaping looked abandoned.
Basket ball courts were well used but the nets were missing and paving was all cracked.
Adult equipment area and hand ball courts had seen better days.
Water fountains were breeding mosquitoes:
Fast forward 8 years and the park has been completely transformed, thanks to community input, support form Council Member Lander and constant pushing by Jole Carliner.
Phase one, the playground area was finished first in May of 2016, with much larger space devoted to swings and slides and play equipment for kids of all ages. Phase two – renovations at the basketball, handball and adult fitness areas was finished this May. In total, the project cost just under $4 million, shared by Council Member Lander and Borough President Eric Adams.
On a drizzly Thursday morning Pre-Kindergarteners form PS179, who were not born when the project started, got to cut the ribbon to celebrate an amazing community accomplishment. And yes, we did get to see Council Member Lander attempt the Hula Hoop:
But seriously – the park looks amazing:
The new park is beautifully landscaped, and accessible. There are two areas for basketball:
The new handball courts:
Adult fitness area:
Thank you, Jole, for not taking no for an answer and believing that people in all neighborhoods deserve beautiful and functional spaces to play, rest and gather, and thank you for still advocating on behalf of the park through Friends of Dome Playground.
If you’d like to help out and get involved – reach out through their Facebook Page.