City Council Member David Greenfield, parks officials, civic leaders, and Kensington residents rolled out the red carpet today to celebrate the Di Gilio Playground groundbreaking, a $2.8 million gut renovation project from Greenfield.
The playground, on Avenue F between McDonald Avenue and East 2nd Street, is about to quadruple in size with new play equipment for toddlers and older kids, new swings, adult and teen fitness equipment, game tables, landscaping, trees to reduce outside noise, and new security lighting, said parks officials.
But in order to expand the playground, the city tore down a skating rink in 2014, much to the dismay of neighbors who played hockey there.
“We are literally gutting the entire park in order to quadruple the play area for thousands of children,” said City Council Member Greenfield, who noted that the park hasn’t been improved for almost 20 years.
“Di Gilio is a treasured public space in this neighborhood, and we look forward to working with Council Member Greenfield to bring it back to life,” said NYC Parks Brooklyn Borough Commissioner Marty Maher. The playground is named after Deputy Inspector Joseph Di Gilio (1929-1986) who served in the New York City Police Department for more than 30 years.
Greenfield, who grew up having to wait an hour to get on the swingset in Midwood, is on a mission to renovate every park in his district — and we’ve already been to several other ribbon cuttings and groundbreakings so far this spring, like Midwood’s Kolbert Park, Kensington’s Dome Playground, Bocce courts in Marine Park, and Jackie Robinson Playground in Crown Heights (the last three aren’t in Greenfield’s district and were led by other officials).
“It takes time, but if we work together government can get things done,” said Greenfield.