Slurps up! Frost-resistant drinking fountains arrive in Brooklyn’s Backyard

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Brooklyn’s Backyard is now an all-year water park!

Prospect Park joggers can leave their water bottles at home during winter runs now that meadow stewards installed the first of several freeze-resistant drinking fountains in the green space.

Workers with the Prospect Park Alliance — which maintains the lawn in conjunction with the city — on Nov. 22 set up the first sipping spot outside Vanderbilt Playground along the roughly three-mile, West Drive running loop that passes the play space, and plan to install more frost-repelling fountains near the park’s Garfield Place entrance and Ball Fields 6 and 7 in the coming days.

Alliance leaders previously shut all meadow fountains down during the winter months to prevent pipes from bursting, according to a rep for the group, who said the freeze-resistant models are connected to waterlines buried deep enough that they won’t ice over, and sport both drinking and bottle-filling spouts.

The new fountains are further protected from freezing over by a mechanism that drains water after each use, requiring users to hold down the faucet button for a second of two before any ice-cold H20 bubbles up, said the Alliance’s Senior Landscape Architect Justine Heilner.

The delay in dispensing water, however, left some of the inaugural fountain’s first customers confused when they went to take sips from it during the Prospect Park Track Club’s annual Turkey Trot run on Thanksgiving Day, according to the neighborhood’s councilman, who said signs alerting park-goers to the wait will be installed soon.

“It takes long enough that people start to wonder where the water is,” said Brad Lander.

Still, Lander praised the debut of Prospect Park’s all-year water fountains, which he said couldn’t come soon enough after locals in his district in 2016 allocated $175,000 to fund via the pol’s 2016 participatory-budgeting process.

“It’s something I’ve been hearing about for a long time,” Lander said.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at or by calling (718) 260-4505.
Updated 7:55 pm, November 27, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Carol Brooks from Carroll Gardens says:
I am amazed that Council Member Brad Lander thinks that giving the Prospect Park Alliance $175,000 for "Frost-Resistant" drinking fountains for runners in Prospect Park is a good and necessary use of his $1.5M participating budget. Aren't there more pressing social needs for Lander's participating budget than heated drinking fountains for runners in Prospect Park? How about upgrading technology for local schools, or funding to renovate the kitchen of a senior center that hosts free meals for seniors? Nor do I see how "Frost-Resistant" fountains could be a priority need for not only the park, where there are always ongoing maintenance requirements that need attention, or in the Park Slope community. Instead, I might suggest that if the park has a need for these fountains, then the Alliance board should appeal to their members to fund this project. The neighborhood has more urgent problems that require funding.
Nov. 27, 2018, 11:21 am
Carol Brooks from Carroll Gardens says:
On Google, I found Concrete Freeze Resistant Outdoor Drinking Fountain ADA - Tan River Rock for $2,000.
Nov. 27, 2018, 11:31 am
Tyler from pps says:
I'm amazed that Carol Brooks doesn't understand participatory budgeting but babbles on and on and on. There were proposals. The community voted. The drinking fountains won enough votes to get part of the funding. Done.
Nov. 27, 2018, 6:04 pm
Janet from Park Slope says:
Each of us could argue that the organizations responsible for these sites--schools, senior centers, and parks--should be ensuring necessities (and running water *is* a necessity for the health of park users) are provided for. But the lack of resources is what participatory budgeting is about. Vote! And tell all your friends! Or don't complain later.
Nov. 27, 2018, 6:27 pm
Bike from NYC says:
Thank you to the locals that voted to ensure I’ll have a place to get water as I ride through your neighborhood. Cheers!
Nov. 27, 2018, 7:29 pm
Old tie Brooklyn from Slope says:
Complete waste of money
Nov. 28, 2018, 4:14 am
Carol Brooks from Carroll Gardens says:
I agree with Old Tie. $42,750 each for 4 water fountains, at at total cost of $175,000, is an outrageous and ridiculous expenditure for water fountains for thirsty runners in Prospect Park during the winter months. Park Slopers lived up to their reputation and voted for this extravagant expenditure during the participatory process, and can't understand why this Carroll Gardener would question the cost. I think I can speak for most Carroll Gardeners. We would never vote for a $42,750 water fountain for Carroll Park at a budget participatory meeting. We also have kids who play in the park and get thirsty during the winter months. But we have practical common sense, as our parents would bring bottled water.
Nov. 29, 2018, 2:12 pm
Law and Disorder from Formally of Brooklyn now N C says:
HA HA HA More Waste
Dec. 2, 2018, 2:21 pm

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