A Bath Beach park is about to get some much-needed upgrades.
On Friday, June 30, members of the Bath Beach, Bensonhurst and Gravesend communities were invited to give input on the future redesign of Bensonhurst Park (Cropsey Avenue between 21st Avenue and Bay Parkway) as part of a visioning session hosted by the New York City Parks Department.
The discussion was led by Borough Parks Commissioner Martin Maher, who had staffers write down the community’s suggestions throughout the session. Among the array of features requested were adult exercise equipment, a dog run, interactive spray showers, more seating areas, a painted running track security lighting and a welcome garden.
Part of the park’s renovations will come as a result of a $2.9 million allocation by Councilmember Vincent Gentile.
“This has always been a dream of mine, to put significant money into Bensonhurst Park, to really shape it up,” said Gentile. “With the allocations we made now and with the good planning of the commissioner and his staff, we—in a hopefully very brief time—will see a real change here for the better.”
Making the park more ADA-accessible, such as by enlarging the playground and widening paths in the park, was also proposed during the session.
“My kid plays in here all day. There are several kids with disabilities, with wheelchairs. We definitely need more swings for them,” said Kazia Laplant, a Bensonhurst resident who also suggested improvements to the water park area of the playground, such as balloon fillers.
Maher noted that the park’s renovations would first go through a year to year-and-a-half-long design phase in which the Parks Department will meet with Community Board 11’s Parks Committee in order to hash out design details. Next, it will enter a procurement phase, where a contract is put out for bid.
Construction is estimated to begin in 2019 and last one year. During construction, most of the park will become close to the public, while some parts, such as the baseball field, may be kept open.
Maher urged community members to stay involved in the renovation process by keeping in touch with CB 11, or by emailing suggestions to BKspecialevents@parks.nyc.gov.
This article originally appeared in the Brooklyn Reporter.