New Entrances to Prospect Park Completed

Image credit: NYC Department of Parks & Recreation.

The entrances are part of a $40 million series of park improvement projects citywide. On January 27, 2021, the Parks Department cut the ribbon on two new completed entrances to Prospect Park along Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn. The new entrances are the first additional entrances added to Prospect Park since the 1940’s. NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP, Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Vicki Been, Council Majority Leader Laurie Cumbo, Council Member Brad Lander, NY State Assembly Member Jo Anne Simon and Prospect Park Alliance President Sue Donoghue were present. 

One entrance is in the northeast section of the park near the former Rose Garden, and another is a minor secondary entrance north of the Prospect Park Zoo. Both entrances have new landscaping, lighting and seating. The entrance near the Rose Garden aligns with a future traffic signal and pedestrian crosswalk. The new entrance opens to a small public plaza with two levels of terraced seating. Stepping stones lead to an informal running trail, and the plaza also features a rock scramble of boulders. 

The entrances were created through the Parks Without Borders program, which allowed New Yorkers to nominate parks to receive funding for improvement projects. Other Parks Without Borders projects include Van Cortlandt Park and Hugh Grant Circle/ Virginia Park and Playground (Bronx); Fort Greene Park (Brooklyn); Flushing Meadows Corona Park (Queens); Jackie Robinson Park and Seward Park (Manhattan); and Faber Park (Staten Island). The projects share $40 million in funding from Mayor de Blasio, with an additional $10 million applied to 40 other capital projects in progress. This project cost $3.2 million and was designed by the Prospect Park Alliance. 

NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP stated, “We are so excited to formally cut the ribbon on this transformative project– a project I hold personally dear to me. The iconic Prospect Park is now even more inviting and accessible thanks to this investment from Mayor de Blasio and the efforts of our partners at the Prospect Park Alliance. When I imagined how Parks Without Borders (PWB) could improve and revitalize many of our beloved parks, I could not have pictured a more perfect example than Prospect Park. PWB has opened up new possibilities and new pathways for New Yorkers to enjoy our greenspaces for generations to come.”

Council Majority Leader Cumbo stated, “Although planned pre-pandemic, the unveiling of our new and improved Prospect Park could not be more timely. COVID-19 has provided further support for the notion that our parks are a fundamental part of the Brooklyn experience! I am so proud to stand alongside Mayor de Blasio, Borough President Adams, and my fellow elected officials to not only make Prospect Park more accessible but to invest in its beautification for all to enjoy ahead of Summer 2021.”

The new entrances are also a part of a comprehensive restoration of the Flatbush perimeter of the park. A $2.4 million project led by the Prospect Park Alliance and funded by Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and Council Majority Leader Cumbo restored the Flatbush Avenue perimeter from Grand Army Plaza to the Prospect Park Zoo. The perimeter received new landscaping, furnishings and an expanded promenade. The Prospect Park Alliance is also restoring pedestrian paths in the northeast corner of the park to improve accessibility with new benches, lighting, tree care, renovated paths and new play sand in the Zucker Natural Exploration Area. This $2 million restoration was funded by Mayor de Blasio. A future covered horseback riding ring just north of the zoo is currently in the early design phase.

By: Veronica Rose (Veronica is the CityLaw fellow and a New York Law School graduate, Class of 2018.)



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