October 20, 2014 / Brooklyn news / Greenpoint / Meadows of Shame

Pay to playground: McGolrick Park scores spruce-up

The Brooklyn Paper
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The playground at McGolrick Park will finally get a much-needed facelift thanks to $1.3 million in taxpayer money, activists announced last week.

The Greenpoint playground, which activists said has not been worked on since the 1980s, has become rickety and dangerous while the city has lavished attention on nearby green spaces, said McGolrick partisans who are pleased as punch about the new financial commitment.

“McCarren and other parks in Williamsburg and Greenpoint have been getting a lot of attention, but McGolrick has been neglected, so we are glad that is going to change,” said Mike Schade, a member of the McGolrick Park Neighborhood Alliance. “We think it is a neighborhood treasure and we want to treat it like one.”

At the playground, ripped ground covering has tripped and injured kids, the wooden planks in the play equipment are splintering, paint is chipping, and benches are falling apart, Schade said.

Neighbors scored $450,000 from a round of participatory budgeting voting this spring, but the amount was only a third of what was needed, another Alliance member said.

“That was enough for a down payment, but that was about it,” Martha Holstein said.

The extra money came through $500,000 in capital funding from Borough President Adams and $300,000 in discretionary funding from Councilman Steve Levin (D–Greenpoint).

“At long last, McGolrick Park will be getting much needed renovations, making the park and playground a safer and more enjoyable place for park goers of all ages,” Levin said.

Securing the repairs after a short burst of community organizing was extremely gratifying, Holstein said.

“We are walking on air at being able to accomplish so much in our first year of intensive efforts,” she said.

The parks department is still working on a plan for the playground overhaul, and should have a rough draft ready for the public by early 2015, according to Holstein. She said she hopes the city will start construction sometime next year.

Next on the Alliance’s agenda is trying to get park-wide problems fixed, including smoothing cracks in the concrete paths, and installing a draining system to end the flooding that can linger throughout the greensward for hours or days after a heavy rainfall.

Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her at
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018: Context and quote from Steve Levin added.
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Reasonable discourse

Sparky says:
"The Greenpoint playground, which has not been worked on since the 1980s, has become rickety and dangerous while parks honchos have lavished attention on nearby green spaces..." In that inimitable way The Brooklyn Paper writes, factually correct but the implication is wrong. The parks department does not control its capital budget. The agency works on the parks that elected officials fund. The issue may be valid, but you're pointing your finger at the wrong people.
Oct. 20, 2014, 11:38 am
b from gp says:
I wonder if City Park's sqarefootage count for McGorlick is as overstated as it is for Northern Greenpoint parks, say by about 75 - 80%?
Oct. 20, 2014, 2:35 pm
b from gp says:
Eeh gads! Bad math, sry for scare. Greenpoint Playground is around .5 acres.
Oct. 20, 2014, 6:59 pm
Vinny Polack from Greenpoint says:
This article is not accurate. That playground was completely redone in the late 90s and was a huge improvement over the old playground. These activists are showing how green they are to the neighborhood when the playground that they think is so ancient and crappy only predates their arrival by less than ten years.
Oct. 20, 2014, 7:35 pm
Marcy Boyle from Greenpoint says:
I have lived in greenpoint my entire life mcgolrick park has always been neglected by the city. Those of us who have been here the longest appreciate the energy of newcomers who have helped us persuade the city to pay some attention to this park and have shown such enthusiasm as volunteers pm park projects. We had over 75 people participating in our park cleanup day . Together we have shown the community stewardship worthy of the city 'a support
Oct. 21, 2014, 9:22 am
b from gp says:
okokok, what I meant to say is Transmitter Park's acreage is grossly overstate, as it is (park and pier) more like 1.6 acres of publicly accessible open space, not 6.whatever acres.

McGolrick is beautiful and deserves all the attention it can get.
Oct. 21, 2014, 11:05 am
b from gp says:
Also keep in mind City Planning, for quality of life purposes, recommends 2.5 acres for every 1,000 peeps within what is it a 10min walk something or other. The combined most northerly developments are introducing close to 6,000 peeps and something like 5.2 acres. Anywhos more details would reveal we got shafted. No one in real positions of power are critically (key word) examining this stuff, because of their political agendas.
Oct. 21, 2014, 11:12 am
b from gp says:
Maybe their 6.whatever arcres of park number includes the non accessible underwater acreage???

Still we got shafted on the open space.
Oct. 21, 2014, 11:21 am
Noel from Greenpoint says:
What a great event we had on Oct. 18th. I can't thank my neighbors enough for coming out and enjoying a day in the park, planting and having a lunch. Our elected officials were there to receive our thanks for helping us get this park updated. McGolrick Park (Winthrop - that is what I call it), this park is amazing, you don't get better. It needs a little TLC these days. I have lived here all my life and to be able to get involved in something and learn about open spaces (parks) and know that this park will be providing memories to the new kids (much like the ones I had when I was a kid maybe even better) is priceless. I cannot tell you how many native Greenpoint people have shown me pics of themselves as kids in this park. That says it all to be able to make those park memories, be it a birthday in the park, walking your grandchildren in the stroller, tossing the ball to your kids. Those activities happened 10 years ago and they will happen 10 more years from now too, in a well kept, clean and safe park. Thank you for this article and thanks again to my Greenpoint neighbors I will work 5 jobs to stay in this hood.
Oct. 21, 2014, 11:23 am
b from gp says:
And despite Levin's claims that no added density was provided at the 77 Commercial St, it was, as real city parks don't have air rights to transfer. What does this mean...? For this and many other reasons we have no real overall up to date comprehension of the new population's impact on the area.

Calling out of context.
Oct. 21, 2014, 11:29 am
b from gp says:
Uhg. Despite the park's website acreage being wrong, it looks like the eas's got it right. A rollercoaster ride to nowhere.
Oct. 21, 2014, 7:43 pm
b from gp says:
though 1.6 is not 2.2 either
Oct. 21, 2014, 8:48 pm
b from gp says:
Why are the proposed city park expansion and existing newtown barge park always misrepresented, in plan?
Oct. 22, 2014, 3:09 pm
None of your business says:
Yeah Noel you may have to work 6 jobs to stay in this "hood" soon. Dopey hipster!
Oct. 22, 2014, 8:01 pm

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