Nearly a year after initial designs were unveiled for the Brigham Street Park and news of the project teetered off, the little park we’re all hoping for is back. Councilman Lew Fidler has given it new life with an injection of $400,000 of capital funds, and Borough President Marty Markowitz is kicking in an additional $100,000.
The funds will be used by the Parks Department to conduct soil testing and begin reworking the designs. “This money will begin to get us answers to turn a concept into a reality,” Fidler told Sheepshead Bites.
But the money is also creating a bit of the political surreal and stirring up serious questions about the park’s future. You see, the park initiative is spearheaded by Fidler’s electoral challenger, Gene Berardelli of the Sheepshead Bay/Plumb Beach Civic Association. And as the money funnels in they’re both using the park to pump up their campaigns, leaving us wondering what really will happen to the park after the election. Continue Reading »
(Brigham Street Park Project screenshot)
It seems that after years of fiddling around with the Brigham Street Park Project, NYC Councilman Lew Fidler has finally found his way to Sheepshead Bay’s field of dreams.
The Sheepshead Bay/Plumb Beach Civic Association (SBPB) has alerted us to the councilman’s latest literature which indicates that the park project is finally on his “To Do” list.
The Brigham Street Park Project, which has the New Yorkers for Parks endorsement, has taken on a life of its own. The SBPB Association maintains a dedicated (and professional) URL where you can read updated park news.
Fact: The Brigham Street Park Project is without question the Bay’s most innovative and captivating community initiative in recent years. The project’s benefits to the community are many, including developing a blighted lot into a sprawling greenspace for public use, adding a fantastic viewing point of the Bay’s mouth (take that, Breakers), and giving the neighborhood a venue for concerts and shows. But the real clincher for me, and where it deserves the highest praise, is in its focus on protecting the environment by preventing thousands of gallons of polluted storm runoff from mixing with Sheepshead’s water.
(Click image for full view)
I don’t think I can emphasize this enough – this system is really cool. Like, super cool. Gene Berardelli, the attorney for Sheepshead Bay/Plumb Beach Civic Association and one of the lead organizers of the effort, calls the park and its runoff system an “example of how proper planning can benefit the environment.” Using a network of bioswales – a natural landscaping feature designed to collect, filter and redirect water through channels – storm water from Emmons Ave. and Brigham Street’s de facto parking lot will be prevented from entering the Bay. Instead, the oily, crack- and condom-filled fluid will run down a slope and through the park in an irrigation ditch of sorts. Nature takes over from there as a collection of plants such as Cinnamon Ferns, Giant Sunflowers and Turtlehead flowers filter the pollutants out of the water. The system is estimated to keep more than 35,500 gallons of icky-sticky water out of the Bay over 10 years.
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