Children’s Reading and Storytelling Garden at the Park Slope Library

One of our communities greatest new public spaces is the “Reading Circle and Storytelling Garden” at the Park Slope branch of the Brooklyn Public Library. The garden features a storytelling amphitheater, paths, and planters. It remarkably converts an unused bit of grass into a joyful new public space to read, dream, play, learn, create, perform, plant, tend, and share stories.

The garden would not have happened without participatory budgeting, and the spirit it invokes. It was proposed by the Friends of Park Slope Library, supported by volunteer budget delegates, and selected by PBNYC voters as a winning project in 2015 (pretty impressive that it got done in just two years, too!). Find upcoming events in the garden here: bklynlibrary.org/locations/park-slope.

Groundbreaking at St. Mary’s Playground

If you’ve lived in Carroll Gardens for at least a decade, you remember “St. Mary’s Playground” on Smith Street between Nelson and Luquer. The park was closed and demolished back in 2009, as part of the MTA’s rehabilitation of the Culver Viaduct on the F/G line.

The MTA was supposed to pay to rebuild it after they completed their work … but unfortunately the $850,000 they committed only covered half the cost. Fortunately, my office, working with Borough President Eric Adams, was able to come up with the rest. And thanks to the Parks Department, and to great community input organized by Paige Bellenbaum and other nearby residents, we’ve got a fantastic design.

The new park will include new ADA-accessible play equipment for kids of all ages, a roller-skating area, a multi-use synthetic turf, a basketball court, fitness equipment, water-play spray showers, a walking track, tables and chairs, and planting beds.

To stay in the loop about St. Mary’s Playground renovations, please go to BradLander.NYC/StMarys.

Avenue C Plaza is Humming!
Thanks to the hard work of Kensington residents, “Avenue C Plaza” (at McDonald Avenue) has developed into a real gem — a great community open space for neighbors to meet, talk, eat, relax, read, and enjoy programs together. Over the spring, the NYC Department of Transportation resurfaced the plaza, so it’s now better than ever.

During the summer, the plaza is home to a “mobile studio,” a hub for diverse, creative, sometimes even magical programming. Kite-making. Painting. Planting. Young writers night. A community Iftar (the evening meal to break the Ramadan fast). You can stay in touch with everything happening in the plaza at facebook.com/avecplaza.

Dome Playground Renovation

Last year, we cut the ribbon on the first phase of renovations at Dome Playground, the park at the corner of Dahill Road and 38th Street. That $2.75 million renovation doubled the children’s play area—with very popular climbing equipment, new seating areas for adults, a multi-purpose field, and some wonderful newly designed paths. The renovations were a huge hit with kids and families.

This spring, the second phase of renovations began with a $1 million upgrade to Dome Playground’s handball and basketball courts, new adult fitness equipment, a new accessible entrance, and new perimeter landscaping. Soon, we’ll have a fully refurbished Dome Playground for the Kensington and Borough Park communities. Want to find more about what’s happening at the park? Connect with the Friends of Dome Playground at facebook.com/friends-of-dome-playground.