Elected officials and members of the New York City Parks Department met this past Tuesday to announce a long-requested redesign of Brooklyn’s oldest park, Commodore Barry Park.
The two proposed reconstruction projects for Commodore Barry Park would completely redesign the space, adding additional greenery, a new baseball field, a new football field, and state-of-the-art lights for nighttime activities. These measures are meant to improve the safety and accessibility of the historic community space.
“We are excited to take the initial steps in reimagining and revitalizing Commodore Barry Park,” said New York City Parks Department Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver at Tuesday’s event. “As commissioner, I’ve prioritized working to ensure that all New Yorkers have access to quality parks, and I know how vital this greenspace is to the community it serves. We look forward to eventually breaking ground on these projects and improving these treasured assets.”
New York State Attorney General Letitia James, Brooklyn Parks Commissioner Martin Maher, Community Board 2 Parks Committee Chair Barbara Zahler-Gringer and other community leaders were also present at Tuesday’s unveiling event. Other elected officials, including Borough President and likely-Democratic mayoral candidate Eric Adams, offered statements afterwards.
“One thing that COVID-19 reiterated to us is that open spaces and parks are the great backyards for communities throughout New York City,” Adams wrote.
City Council Majority Leader Laurie A. Cumbo followed suit, adding: “With the increasing focus on the importance of our physical and mental health, the reconstruction of Commodore Barry Park will provide numerous opportunities for community members to exercise, play and relax. I am especially thrilled that our children and our seniors will have a space that is beautiful, easily accessible, close, and safe for them to enjoy.”
The reconstruction projects for the park are planning to rely on a variety of financial sources. Currently, Mayor Bill de Blasio has committed $11.47 to the project while Borough President Adams has committed $800,000. A New York State grant was also awarded to the city Parks Department to pursue the redevelopment.
Officially founded in 1836, Commodore Berry Park is named in honor of the famed American naval officer who helped found the Brooklyn Navy Yard. It is the oldest park in the borough, dating back to Brooklyn’s time as an independent city.