Important Meeting On Carroll Park Community Vision Plan This Coming Wednesday
It is perhaps not the most convenient time for anyone, but the New York Parks Department has scheduled a meeting to present its revised Carroll Park Community Vision Plan at the Community Board 6 Parks/Recreation/Environmental Protection Committee Meeting on December 18, 2019 at 6:30pm at the PS 58 Auditorium, 330 Smith Street in Carroll Gardens.
The revised Carroll Park Community Vision Plan was created after hearing the community’s feedback during the Public Workshop in February 2019 and the CB6 meeting in September 2019.
There is currently no money set aside in the budget for a total renovation of Carroll Park and any such renovation is still five to ten years, if not further down the road. However, Councilmember Brad Lander was able to come up with a grant of $25,000 with which landscape design firm Starr Whitehouse was engaged to begin the process by creating a renovation proposal based on community outreach.
The presentation began wrong. Instead of beginning the presentation with a broad vision, the presentation focused on factors that limit what can be built in the park. As important as tree-root health, new equipment safety standards, costs, funding, and phasing are, beginning with these topics distracted from the goal of presenting a high level overview and vision for Carroll Park. What was missing was acknowledgement of the importance of the park to the community and that, despite the tiny size the park, Carroll Park has become the civic identity of the neighborhood. The heavy daily use of the whole park as well as it’s well maintained green areas, and its many special events including parades, plays, markets, birthday parties, and performances, all contribute to its status in the community.
While the presentation briefly mentioned the success of the 1994 remodeling of the park, that remodeling deserved more attention so its achievements will not be lost as new ambitions are embraced. The 1994 redesign has proven durable and flexible as it has accommodated the changing demographics and growth of the Carroll Gardens neighborhood and has many features which deserve to be continued including appropriate zoning of activities, right-sizing the major activity areas, and an identity tied to natural features including the “landmark” trees and the wooded buffer zone.