A newly-renovated park located between Bensonhurst and Boro Park was officially unveiled to the community on Tuesday, August 16, as Councilmember David Greenfield, State Senator Simcha Felder, CB 10 District Manager Barry Spitzer and Parks Department Borough Commissioner Kevin Jeffrey celebrated $7.25 million in improvements.
Gravesend Park (located on 18th Avenue between 55th and 58th Streets), better known as 18th Avenue Park to locals, was a lightning rod for homelessness, drug activity and crime prior to the new construction at the park, which began in May, 2015.
“This whole area was under-utilized; there was no park over there,” said Greenfield, motioning to the park’s playground. “It was basically a bleachers, and we had homeless people, drugs and alcohol, so we literally created a park from nothing. The idea that we knocked it down and created a brand new playground for kids is really unbelievable.”
The playground is one of four new ones at the park, which now also includes two swing set areas, two baseball fields, two basketball courts, four handball courts, 50 benches, seven water fountains, improved walkways and new greenery. New bathroom facilities are also currently in the works.
According to Greenfield, the park now boasts the largest park playground in Brooklyn, benefiting the area’s notably large population of children.
“There is nothing better than a park to represent a place that everybody, young and old, can come to and have a good time,” said Felder. “The beauty of this park is that it is a safe, clean park.”
Greenfield has allocated nearly $27 million dollars for parks in District 44, which includes parts of Boro Park, Bensonhurst and Midwood, in less than six years. Other parks in the district that have also been renovated since Greenfield became councilmember include Seth Low Playground in Bensonhurst, Kolbert Park in Midwood and Di Gilio Playground in Kensington.
The councilmember also touted his NYC Cleanup Initiative, which aims to clean up every major avenue in the district, including 13th Avenue, 16th Avenue, 18th Avenue, Avenue J and Avenue M. As part of the same initiative, Gravesend Park will be provided with extra cleaning services in order to ensure that it stays in pristine condition.