Parks cuts ribbon to renovated Ennis Playground
by Benjamin Fang
Jul 24, 2019 | 2426 views | 0 0 comments | 139 139 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Less than a year after breaking ground on the renovation project, Gowanus community members can now enjoy the refurbished Ennis Playground.

Last Wednesday, the Parks Department, Councilman Brad Lander and local organizations cut the ribbon on the $2.9 million project.

The upgraded open space features new play equipment, spray shower, multipurpose synthetic turf, new basketball courts and seating areas.

There playground’s entrances were also improved, and plantings were added to soften the perimeters.

“We know parks are our front yards and backyards,” said Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver, “where people can connect, relax and cool off.”

Councilman Brad Lander, who allocated $1.85 million for the renovation, said the project is the result of smart design and the community’s vision.

He noted that when the initial design was put forward for the playground, there were some disagreements among neighbors.

Situated in a mixed-use area in Gowanus, the playground borders not just homes, but manufacturing businesses and a Department of Sanitation garage.

“There really were some challenges and tensions in figuring out how to make this happen right,” Lander said.

But rather than “getting their backs up,” Lander said, stakeholders met with the Parks Department to discuss how to satisfy all needs.

“As a result of that dialogue and conversation, a new design came out that really made everyone 100 percent happy,” he said.

As part of the project, DSNY agreed to use a parking area near the edge of the playground only for cars, not sanitation trucks.

Lander said that’s the type of collaboration and partnership that is reflected in the neighborhood, one where everyone has to balance residential concerns with businesses, growth with preservation, and public with private interests.

After cutting the ribbon, Lander and Assemblyman Felix Ortiz ran through the spray shower with local children. The event took place as the heat wave was underway, with temperatures in the 90s.

“Magical things are going to happen here for decades and generations to come,” Lander said.
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