Brownsville’s Betsy Head Park is now open to the public after a $30 million upgrade, which included the addition of the city’s first-ever Parkour teen fitness course and the neighborhood’s biggest skate park.
The upgrade of the 106-year-old park reimagines the two pieces of land that sit diagonally across Dumont Ave. to create a cohesive, inclusive and multi-generational green space.
In a press release, a spokesperson from Abel Bainnson Butz, LLP (ABB) Landscape Architects, who worked on the project with NYC Parks Department, said the vision was to provide a versatile experience for all ages and abilities, which met the current and changing needs of the community.
The new design offers areas for relaxation and exercise that are tailored towards teenagers and adults of all abilities, including a inclusionary self-competitive basketball course for those with physical and mental disabilities.
The new design preserves large trees and incorporates elements derived from community workshops and neighborhood planning efforts.
The new design includes a multipurpose event space with amphitheater-style seating that could cater to a range of small-scale community events, such as farmer’s markets, informal outdoor performance events, tai chi, yoga, and outdoor movie screenings and serves as an outdoor classroom for adjacent schools.
The larger section of the park, on the south side of Dumont Ave., was designed to accommodate an assortment of athletic programming. The new synthetic turf field can be used for softball, football, soccer and lacrosse, and it is surrounded by a 4-lane running track. There are also several outdoor fitness stations.
Other amenities include granite domino and chess tables, a traverse wall, handball court, seating areas, basketball courts, new security lighting, ADA accessible entrances and a completely renovated comfort station.
The renovation was completed with funds from the Mayor’s office, as part of a $150-million-dollar investment in five large, regional parks across each of the NYC boroughs.
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