A combined $3.4 million dollars in funding has been secured to renovate and redevelop Scarangella Park, one of the Bensonhurst/Gravesend area’s largest recreational park and playground locations.
City Councilman Mark Treyger, State Senator Diane Savino and Assembly Member William Colton, joined NYC Parks’ First Deputy Commissioner Liam Kavanagh, community activists, and local residents to announce the city’s plans at the park Thursday at 3pm.
“Outer borough parks are finally starting to see the kind of investment and attention they have been sorely lacking for years,” said Treyger. “This funding is a breath of fresh air. Residents of Gravesend and Bensonhurst have the right to the same opportunities for outdoor activity as all other New Yorkers, and we are ensuring that right by working to provide residents with recreational spaces that match the standards they expect and deserve.”
Savino, who later joined her fellow elected officials for a ride on the swings, said she felt honored to help her colleagues achieve their much-needed goal.
“Our constituents deserve a park in their neighborhood that they can actually utilize, and for so long that was not a possibility, but very soon that will become a reality, ”said Savino.
Renovation plans include the creation of comfort stations and new playground equipment. Plans also call for a participatory project, with local residents encouraged to contribute ideas and suggestions for redesign plans.
“A community develops and grows a stronger bond based on the small businesses, standing together on issues, and the public spaces that include parks,” said Colton at the event. “A park is perfect for people of all ages, from the kids playing in the playground to the teens in the basketball courts to the seniors doing their daily stretches. It is great that parks in our neighborhood especially are receiving attention to be improved in order to create a better environment for all our community members.”
The funding – which includes $2.4 million secured by Treyger in the city budget, and $1 million that was secured in the capital budget by Savino – are part of a the city’s larger effort to focus attention on recreational areas in southern Brooklyn.
The announcement comes nearly two months after the city’s decision to designate $10 million for the full renovations and maintenance of two local green spaces as part of its Community Parks Initiative (CPI), which focuses on underserved areas with fast growing populations. A $5.4 million revamp is in store for Gravesend’s Lafayette Playground — located just across the street from Scarangella Park — and Lt. Joseph Petrosino Park in Bensonhurst will be infused with $4.5 million from the Initiative.
Launched by de Blasio in October 2014, CPI promotes the full recreation and construction of underserved city parks through 2019. Initially, the administration faced criticism from politicians because none of the original 35 parks named in the Initiative were located in southern Brooklyn.
Following reporting in Bensonhurst Bean on the dangerous disrepair of local parks, the city infused an additional $150 million into CPI, bringing the administration’s total investment to $285 million, allowing the restoration of 65 city parks. Thirty-five locations were announced by the mayor in 2014, 12 more were announced in October, and 20 more sites will be named over the next three years.