If you build it, they will come.
Local Bensonhurst schools joined New York City Parks Brooklyn Borough Commissioner Martin Maher, Councilmember David Greenfield and new commanding officer of the 62nd Precinct Captain Anthony Longobardi to celebrate the completion of the final phase of construction on Seth Low Park, West 12th Street between Bay Parkway and Avenue P, on Wednesday, October 4.
The $1.9 million renovation, funded by Borough President Eric Adams and Greenfield, includes new fields and adult fitness equipment.
“I’m so happy to be here to celebrate this final phase of the reconstruction of Seth Low Park,” said Maher. “This used to be what Parks called a multi-purpose play area, and the reality is that it was a big, ugly asphalt field with a lot of cracks and a lot of weeds just a year ago.”
He then credited Greenfield for transforming the area for locals to use, especially children. “He had this vision to make it one field for active sports, one field for general play for kids to have a good time for community and movie nights, and it was really his design,” he said. “We added beautiful trees for shape. We have adult fitness equipment here. We have one field for permanent play for soccer and other sports. We have bleachers so people can watch, and benches. It’s great.”
Children from P.S. 682, Success Academy of Bensonhurst, Brooklyn School of Inquiry and I.S. 96 Seth Low School were on hand for the ribbon cutting. Teachers and administrators are impressed with the changes.
“It’s phenomenal that we now have a place that we can now play safely,” said Mary Magruder, assistant principal at Success Academy of Bensonhurst. “In the back of our school, we just have a concrete play yard so having this place where there is turf and they can run around and be safe is a great resource for us. And we have an amazing soccer program. It’s really exciting for them to get out of the gym and have a place where they can play soccer, so we’re very grateful.”
“I think it’s magnificent and it’s a great opportunity for everybody in the community to use this,” added Susan Tanzer, a teacher at I.S. 96 Seth Low. “The grass and track are new. The basketball courts have been fixed as well. It’s really great. Our track team was practicing here the other day.”
Greenfield, who stated that his mission was to refurbish all 13 parks in his district, discussed the importance of places for kids to play. “I grew up in a neighborhood where I had no parks,” he explained. “I’ll never forget as a kid that I had nowhere to play. It was sad. I decided when I grew up, I was going to build parks.”
He also discussed the challenges of fixing the parks in his district. “When I first became a city councilman eight years ago, I sat down with the then-commissioner of parks and told him I wanted to renovate every single park in my district,” he said. “And he looked at me and said, ‘David, that is ridiculous’ and laughed. He said there were too many parks and it would cost too much money. I said we have to try and here we are.”
“I think it’s beautiful,” said Longobardi. “I remember what it looked like before. It’s a drastic improvement. It’s excellent for the community and it’s a job well done by the councilmember and Parks.”