Alliance Restores Northeast Paths

November 10, 2021

Through $2 million in funding by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Prospect Park Alliance has completed the restoration of the pedestrian paths in the northeast corner of Prospect Park to make the area more accessible to the communities who use the park. The project kicked off in the summer of 2020 and wrapped up in August 2021.

“This project replaces broken and inaccessible pavement that’s been in poor condition for more than half a century as layers upon layers of asphalt have continued to erode,” said Svetlana Ragulina, Prospect Park Alliance Senior Landscape Architect. “Now visitors of all abilities will be able to more easily navigate the area and experience it for longer periods each day thanks to the newly installed lighting and benches.”

This project included the following:

  • The reconstruction of approximately 2,500 linear feet of paths, with new asphalt paving and traditional hex block pavers between Grand Army Plaza and the newly restored Endale Arch.
  • Installation of 15 new park benches and lighting along the paths through the addition of 60 light poles.
  • Much-needed tree care, seeding and new plantings to restore the natural areas.
  • Replacement of the play sand in the beloved Zucker Natural Exploration Area.
  • Clearing and reconstruction of 19 catch basins, which will help with drainage in heavy rain events.

The newly restored paths connect major points of interest in the northeast, including Grand Army Plaza, Endale Arch, the Park Drive, Vale of Cashmere, the Zucker Natural Exploration area, the Rose Garden and the new park entrances at Flatbush Avenue.

Learn more about park projects on our Captial Projects Tracker.

c. Elizabeth Keegin Colley

Reimagining a Historic House: A Community Conversation

October 12, 2021

Prospect Park Alliance hosted a Community Conversation with Meredith Sorin-Horsford, Director of the Dyckman Farmhouse Museum, as part of its Re-Imagine Lefferts Historic House initiative to re-envision the mission and programming of this historic house museum while it undergoes restoration, recognize the role the house played as a site of slavery, and tell the stories of enslaved Africans and Native Americans who lived and worked the land.

In the lead up to the event, we asked Meredith a few questions about Dyckman DISCOVERED and her team’s approach to sensitive historical research.

Can you tell us a bit about your Dyckman DISCOVERED  Initiative?
The Dyckman DISCOVERED initiative investigates the stories of the enslaved and free people that lived and worked on the Dyckman Farm and the community that is now called Inwood in Upper Manhattan. This initiative brings an inclusive history to the community, fosters a sense of transparency and, we hope, engages visitors who have not seen themselves represented in the current narrative.

Where did you find information about the enslaved Africans and others who lived and worked the land apart from the Dyckman family?
We utilized the Dyckman papers at the New-York Historical Society as well as runaway slave ads, bills of sale and papers that relate to families that the Dyckmans did business with.

If you don’t have a lot of information about an enslaved person who lived in the house, how do you give visitors a sense of their lives?
Every piece of information that we find gives us an inkling into their lives, the languages they spoke, the skills they possessed, the food they ate, the spaces they would have occupied, etc. Additionally, information about the lives of enslaved people in the region might also help us to learn more about their lives.

How did you engage your community in your project?
We held community conversations during which we talked about the research that we found and used that as an opportunity to find out more from our neighbors about what they would like to learn more about. We have also held numerous public programs that relate to the Dyckman DISCOVERED initiative, including a lecture series and site-specific contemporary art installations.

Why is it important to preserve authentic and meaningful documents, artifacts, images, stories and places?
Authentic historic documents, images, stories, and places are so important to preserve because they tell us where we have been and how we ended up where we are now. Utilizing historic artifacts and stories are also a great way to engage our present-day community in conversation about the past and how it is connected with the present.

What kinds of programs help participants to see how their experiences in life are related to the interpretation of slavery?
I think that our lecture series, Talking About Race Matters: Join the Conversation, illustrates this best. This series, which we have hosted three times since August 2020, features professionals in the fields of history, archeology, anthropology, Africana and Latinx studies, women and gender studies, music and dance to talk about race from different perspectives. Through these community conversations, attendees are able to learn about, discuss, and ask questions about how the institution of slavery has shaped the history of this nation and the evolution of who and where we are today.

For those who couldn’t make it to the community conversation, the Alliance created a form where you can respond to the questions that were raised to our audience, and we encourage you to share your feedback. We do plan future community conversations in the coming months, and hope that you can join this continued dialogue.

The restoration of Lefferts Historic House is made possible through $2.5 million in funding from the Brooklyn Delegation of the New York City Council, and includes replacing the roof, restoring the exterior of the building, and repairing paths and drainage surrounding the house. The restoration is currently underway, and slated to be completed in 2022.

Learn more about Lefferts Historic House.

c. Paul Martinka

Prospect Park Alliance Welcomes Juneteenth Way

June 18, 2021

Today Prospect Park Alliance kicked off the restoration of Lefferts Historic House with a celebratory event led by Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver, Prospect Park Alliance President Sue Donoghue, Majority Leader Laurie Cumbo and Council Member Mathieu Eugene, who joined civic leaders and community members. The occasion was marked with two unveilings: the designation of the path across from Lefferts as “Juneteenth Way,” and a site-specific installation produced in partnership with Photoville, “Jamel Shabazz: Prospect Park, My Brooklyn Oasis.” 

Prospect Park Alliance is restoring Lefferts Historic House through $2.5 million in funding from the Speaker and the Brooklyn Delegation of the New York City Council. The restoration will enable the Alliance to replace the roof, restore the exterior of the building, and repair paths and drainage surrounding the house. The restoration is slated to conclude by Fall 2022.

In timing with Juneteenth and in partnership with NYC Parks, the pathway across from Lefferts Historic House is being designated as “Juneteenth Way.” The stretch of benches along this shaded walkway were painted the colors of the pan-African flag, and interpretive signage was installed as part of this designation. The Alliance and NYC Parks will look to officially rename the area after a celebrated Black community member next year via the public nomination and voting process of the NYC Parks Renaming Project.

In partnership with the non-profit Photoville and acclaimed Brooklyn-based photographer Jamel Shabazz, the Alliance unveiled “Prospect Park: My Oasis in Brooklyn,” a site-specific installation of works on the Lefferts Historic House construction fencing. For the past 41 years, Shabazz has documented the people and places that truly make the park Brooklyn’s Backyard. His work is exhibited worldwide, and featured in the collections of The Whitney Museum, The Studio Museum in Harlem, and the National Museum of African American History and Culture. The installation is on view through December 1, 2021.

“Lefferts Historic House is located at the nexus of Prospect Park and the Flatbush community, and our vision in terms of its restoration is to rethink its mission and vision to make it better reflect the history and culture of our community,” said Sue Donoghue, President, Prospect Park Alliance. “In strengthening the bones of this historic structure, the Alliance is committed to recognizing the role the house played as a site of slavery, and telling the stories of enslaved Africans and Native Americans who lived and worked the land. We are so thrilled to be marking this moment by unveiling ‘Juneteenth Way’, and also celebrating the work and career of the preeminent photographer Jamel Shabazz.”

“We are elated to celebrate the start of Lefferts Historic House’s restoration and the unveiling of Prospect Park’s Juneteenth Way. It is fitting that this momentous occasion would fall on the eve of Juneteenth,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP. “We hope that collectively we can reflect and acknowledge the history of this site as a former slave property. Thanks to the Prospect Park Alliance and the Brooklyn Delegation of the New York City Council, the Lefferts Historic House will be restored and renewed to serve as a living testament to the hurdles we have overcome in the quest for equality and as a reminder of the harsh realities of slavery.”

“These dual projects to honor the end of slavery on which the Prospect Park Alliance is partnering are right on time,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. “The unveiling of “Juneteenth Way” as restoration of Lefferts Historic House commences, and the rotating art exhibit surrounding it, first featuring the photography of Jamel Shabazz, acknowledge the profound cultural contributions that continue to be made by people of African descent in this country, and the long overdue homage being made to those formerly enslaved who learned late in1865 that they were finally free. I thank Prospect Park Alliance and my colleagues in government for their work to begin this recognition process.” 

“Lefferts Historic House in Prospect Park is one of many cultural milestones in my district,” said Council Majority Leader Laurie Cumbo. “I know my neighbors and many residents cherish the local history of Brooklyn and their neighborhoods, and I cannot wait to see how Jamel Shabazz’s installation will depict the Park as the oasis it truly was, and always will be, for Brooklyners.”

“The restoration of Lefferts Historic House and the unveiling of Juneteenth Way is not only a beautiful addition to our beloved Prospect Park but a step in making sure all New Yorkers’ history is represented. As well as celebrating the career of photographer Jamel Shabazz,” said Council Member Brad Lander. “This is a critical moment to make sure our collective histories are shared and not to gloss over some parts of it we don’t want to share. I hope that when it reopens, the Lefferts Historic House will be able to teach all who come to visit it the stories of the enslaved people who lived and worked there, and that we continue to make New York City historical sites more inclusive.”

“It is a great honor for me to join my colleagues from the Brooklyn Delegation in funding the $2.5 million restoration of  Lefferts Historic House,” said Council Member Mathieu Eugene. “This project represents a very important long-term investment in our community that is preserving history for future generations of New Yorkers. By restoring this historic landmark, once home to prominent slaveholder Pieter Lefferts, we are preserving a part of our city’s rich history and recognizing the struggle that our enslaved ancestors went through on their journey to freedom. The dedication of Juneteenth Way in the very place that housed slaves so many years ago is indeed a powerful statement to the progress we have made as a society towards equality.”  

Background on Lefferts Historic House

Lefferts Historic House is an 18th-century historic house museum jointly operated by Prospect Park Alliance and the Historic House Trust. Its programming focuses on the lives of the people that lived and worked the land, including the Lenape, Dutch colonists and enslaved Africans. The museum features a working garden and farm plots, historic artifacts, period rooms and indoor and outdoor exhibits. 

The Dutch colonist Lefferts family resided in the town of Flatbush starting in the 1600s. Their wealth was the result of the labor of enslaved Africans, who worked the land to produce staple crops. The original home burned down in August 1776 during the Battle of Brooklyn, and was rebuilt circa 1783. Although it is not known for certain how many enslaved Africans lived at the homestead, the 1800 census showed 12 enslaved African residents, a high number for a single family farm. By some estimates, one third of the people living in what is now Brooklyn in the early 19th century were enslaved. In 1824, the Lefferts family began to free enslaved Africans, and after the abolition of slavery in New York State in 1827, most of the Lefferts farmland was rented to tenant farmers. At the end of the 1800s, the Lefferts family sold the farmland to developers. Originally located four blocks south at 563 Flatbush Avenue near Maple Street, the house was moved to the park after its presentation to the City in 1917.

While the house is closed for restoration, Prospect Park Alliance is undertaking a re-envisioning of the museum’s mission and programming to strengthen its focus on the history and culture of the Flatbush community. This includes a stronger emphasis on the homestead as a historic site of slavery, and how the museum tells the story of the enslaved Africans and Native Americans who lived and worked the land. The Alliance will be partnering with leading researchers, community leaders and cultural organizations to identify and create innovative programming for the restored museum.

Learn more at prospectpark.org/lefferts.

Jordan Rathkopf

Neighborhood Guide: Little Caribbean

May 19, 2021

Little Caribbean, a neighborhood located in and around Flatbush, Brooklyn, has been a major hub of Caribbean-American-Latinx life in New York City since the 1960s. It is home to the largest and most diverse community of people from various Caribbean islands outside of the West Indies. Shelley Worrell, founder of caribBEING, spearheaded the movement to officially name the neighborhood Little Caribbean in 2017, and Prospect Park Alliance had a chance to sit with her and ask her about some of her favorite destinations in the area. June is Caribbean-American Heritage Month and we’re celebrating with free fitness, music and food events—see the full lineup!

One of Worrell’s favorite things about Little Caribbean is the mix of old and new: second or third generation family owned businesses, such as Allan’s Bakery on Nostrand Avenue, share a neighborhood and culture with new businesses such as Aunts Et Uncles and Hibiscus Brew, located on Nostrand Avenue and Flatbush Avenue respectively. Other highly recommended eateries include Peppa’s Jerk Chicken on Prospect Place and Nostrand Avenue and Scoops on Flatbush Avenue.

Allan's Bakery Allans caribBEING
Allan’s Bakery. Photo courtesy of Christian Rodriguez.

The Drummer’s Grove, located in the park near the Parkside Avenue and Ocean Avenue entrance, is another staple Caribbean institution. “What would the park be without it?” Shelley remarked. When asked about her other favorite spots and activities in the park, she mentioned the Boathouse, Smorgasburg, and Grand Army Plaza’s beautiful archways: but her favorite and most frequented spots are the Parkside and Ocean Avenue and Lincoln Road and Ocean Avenue entrance, both located in Little Caribbean.

Labay Market Little Caribbean caribBEING
Labay Market, another staple of Little Caribbean. Photo courtesy of Christian Rodriguez.

Finally, we talked a little about the caribBEING House, currently stationed in the park near the LeFrak Center at Lakeside. “It’s a mobile shipping container: part gallery, part shop,” Shelley explained. It’s a space for Caribbean arts, culture, and community. It’s traveled all around Brooklyn, from Greenpoint, to Williamsburg to Downtown Brooklyn. It is slated to open in the summer season along with a slate of caribBEING events hosted in partnership with Prospect Park Alliance in timing with June’s Caribbean-American Heritage Month. Check out the full list of caribBEING’s food, music fitness events coming to the park in June.

caribBEING House WinterPhoto courtesy of Pablo Serrano.

Learn more about the Little Caribbean neighborhood and learn more about caribBEING on the caribBeing website.

c. Elizabeth Keegin Colley

Re:New Prospect Park

Prospect Park is the place to be for our community—which is why Prospect Park Alliance, the non-profit that sustains Brooklyn’s Backyard, has launched Re:New Prospect Park: new stewardship efforts to help serve our community and meet the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Due to the pandemic, both Prospect Park Alliance and NYC Parks lost critical funding, which resulted in a reduced workforce and resources. This combined with an increase in park visitors led to the park getting much more love than it can handle. However, thanks to the support of our community of donors and volunteers over the past year, the park has been able to weather the storm, and the Alliance is placing much-needed funds to renew the park in time for our busiest season.

“We know how important the park is to our community and the role is serves in recovering from the challenges of the past year,” said Prospect Park Alliance President Sue Donoghue. “Prospect Park is showing serious signs of wear and tear, and without our normal workforce, we are so grateful for our community, who over the past year has pitched in to help sustain this cherished green oasis.

Critical support  for this initiative is made possible through generous funding from Amazon, the Leon Levy Foundation, NYC COVID-19 Response and Impact Fund in the New York Community Trust, NYC Green Relief + Recovery Fund, and many generous individuals and community members who made first-time or increased gifts to the Alliance during this challenging time.

Re:New Prospect Park Initiatives

Park Maintenance

Prospect Park Alliance has partnered with Ace New York, a non-profit that empowers the homeless, to provide additional maintenance resources to help clean the park on peak weekdays and weekend evenings through October. In addition, the Alliance has brought on board four seasonal groundskeepers to help supplement NYC Parks maintenance crews during this busiest time of year.

The crew is partially funded via a grant from Amazon. 

“Throughout the pandemic, Prospect Park has provided badly needed, outdoor refuge to Brooklyn families,” said Carley Graham Garcia, Amazon’s New York Head of External Affairs. “Unfortunately, this has meant wear and tear on the park at the exact time resources are strained. By partnering with ACE, Prospect Park Alliance will create job opportunities, while ensuring this local gem remains a resource for our city and borough.”

“ACE is proud to partner with the Alliance to help keep Prospect Park clean and safe for all New Yorkers to enjoy. These jobs not only benefit our City by keeping the park beautiful, they also provide meaningful employment for men and women who have overcome histories of homelessness,” said ACE Executive Director James Martin.

To support these efforts, Prospect Park Alliance is encouraging park visitors to carry in and carry out their trash via promotional signage at all park entrances, the Alliance has also installed large trash receptacles in key areas of the park. View this map for large trash receptacle locations.

Park Improvements

The Alliance will also be re-investing back into the park by improving lawn areas, comfort stations, barbecue areas and even the park’s beloved Drummer’s Grove through funding from our community of donors. Work will take place this spring into early summer, and will include renovated restroom facilities at the Lincoln Road and Children’s Corner, new barbecue grills, fixtures and furnishings at the Picnic House and Bandshell barbecue areas, similar to the new grills installed at the Lincoln Road and Parkside + Ocean Avenue barbecue areas.

We also will be bringing on board an expanded “Fix-It” crew and volunteer services staff to help renew our lawn areas, repaint benches, fix broken fencing and give a deep clean to our rustic and historic structures.

Park Volunteer Opportunities 

Prospect Park Alliance has expanded its Volunteer Services staff to accommodate more volunteer opportunities in the park, including the return of our popular Green and Go Kit and It’s My Park Monday programs.

It’s My Park Mondays
Join us on Mondays for special It’s My Park Day community volunteer events, where groups and individuals can help us sustain the park during these challenging times.

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Green and Go Kits
Want to help keep the park clean and green? Register today to check out a Green and Go Kit, available weekends at various locations around the park. Kits include a trash grabber, garbage bags and gloves. You must be 18 years old to check out a kit, but children are welcome to accompany adults.

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Re:New Volunteer Corps
This spring, Prospect Park Alliance is launching a new volunteer opportunity to help us renew the park following the incredible wear and tear of the past year. The Re:New Volunteer Corps will meet weekly in the park and work on improvement projects from filling divots and reseeding holes in the park’s lawn areas, sweeping paths, and painting benches, railings and storage containers.

Register as a volunteer to receive an invitation to the Re:New Corps, which will launch in June.

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Help us to continue to sustain the park during these challenging times, while enjoying great benefits to enhance your enjoyment of the park.

Become a Prospect Park Alliance member today!

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About Prospect Park Alliance

Prospect Park Alliance is the non-profit organization that sustains, restores and advances Prospect Park, Brooklyn’s Backyard, in partnership with the City of New York. The Alliance provides critical staff and resources that keep the Park green and vibrant for the diverse communities that call Brooklyn home.

About Amazon

Amazon is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Fire tablets, Fire TV, Amazon Echo, and Alexa are some of the products and services pioneered by Amazon. For more information, visit amazon.com/about and follow @AmazonNews.

About ACE

ACE was founded in 1992 and provides job-readiness training, work experience, all around support, and much more to New Yorkers who have histories of homelessness, incarceration and addition. At ACE, men and women overcome barriers through hard work to reach their goals of full-time employment, economic self-sufficiency, and family reunification. Over 3,000 men and women have secured full-time employment through ACE’s programs. Learn more at acenewyork.org.

c. Virginia Freire

Play + Go in Prospect Park

April 29, 2021

Join Prospect Park Alliance at pop-up locations around the park and surrounding neighborhoods as we bring our favorite activities from the Prospect Park Audubon Center and Lefferts Historic House on the road in easy-to-borrow Play + Go Kits.

Visit our event calendar for dates and locations for this season!

Pick up to five (5) items and mix and match historic games and toys, or nature games and activities. While you are here, you can participate in our new Nature’s Helpers activities by lending a hand and participating in stewardship activities such as raking, litter patrol or mulching and afterwards, take a fun nature walk and explore the natural wonders of the park or search for the many historic elements that are scattered all around us.

The Pop-Up Lefferts Play + Go Kit features a fun assortment of historic games that include Quoits, Rolling Hoops, Game of Graces, Checkers, and Mancala. Take home games such as Nine-Man Morris, Igba-Ita Game of Chance, Lenape Dice Game or a DIY Scented Sachet Kit. Pop-Up Lefferts is supported in part by NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital.

The Pop-Up Audubon Play + Go Kits feature a range of fun nature activities and games, as well as a birdwatching checklist with binoculars, and much more. Families and children can enjoy nature on their own as they explore and learn more about the park. Pop-Up Audubon is made possible through the generous support of Con Edison.

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Help the Alliance Tackle Trash

Prospect Park is the place to be for our community—which is why Prospect Park Alliance has new stewardship efforts to help serve our community and meet the challenges we are facing, part of the Re:New Prospect Park initiative.

“We know how important the park is to our community right now,” said Sue Donoghue, Park Administrator and President of Prospect Park Alliance. “Prospect Park is showing serious signs of wear and tear, and we need our community to pitch in and help keep this cherished green space thriving.”

Carry In + Carry Out Your Trash
Please carry out of the park everything you bring into the park with you, and please clean up your trash and litter. If you are able to carry out your trash, you will be doing your park a great service. If this is not possible, please use the large trash receptacles that Prospect Park Alliance has installed in key areas of the park. View this map for large trash receptacle locations.

Re:New Volunteer Corps
Make a lasting impact on Prospect Park! Join the Volunteer Corps to engage in essential park improvement projects such as filling divots and reseeding holes in the park’s lawn areas, sweeping paths, and painting benches and railings.

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It’s My Park Mondays
Join us on Mondays for special It’s My Park Mondays community volunteer events, where groups and individuals can help us sustain the park during these challenging times.

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Green + Go Kits
Want to help keep the park clean and green? Register today to check out a Green + Go Kit, available every Friday, Saturday and Sunday at various locations around the park. Kits include a trash grabber, garbage bags and gloves. You must be 18 years old to check out a kit, but children are welcome to accompany adults.

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Ace New York
See a few extra helping hands around the park? This year, Prospect Park Alliance is partnering with ACE Programs for the Homeless. Their crews will help keep Brooklyn’s Backyard clean and beautiful on weekends and key weekdays now through October. This is just one of the ways that we are renewing the park after a year of much love through our Re:New Prospect Park initiative.

ace New York

Want to keep informed on volunteer opportunities all year long? Register today to become a Prospect Park Alliance Volunteer. 

Prospect Park Alliance

New Flatbush Entrances Open

January 28, 2021

Just in time for the new year, Prospect Park Alliance and NYC Parks have opened to the public the first new entrances to Prospect Park since the 1940s, and the restored Flatbush Avenue Perimeter, while work is completed on site. The new entrances were funded by Mayor Bill de Blasio, and designed by Prospect Park Alliance, the non-profit organization that operates the park in partnership with the City, through the Parks Without Borders initiative.

Get Directions to the new Flatbush Entrance.

“Guided by input from New Yorkers, Parks Without Borders makes access to our beautiful park space across the city easier for all,” said NYC Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Vicki Been. “Prospect Park’s new Flatbush Avenue entrance and the adjacent street improvements bring the benefits of green space to even more New Yorkers.”

“We are so excited to formally cut the ribbon on this transformative project I hold personally dear to me,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP. “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 Prospect Park Alliance. When I imagined how Parks Without Borders 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 green spaces for generations to come.”

“Prospect Park Alliance is committed to making Prospect Park open and accessible to all communities it borders, and we are grateful to be able to open pedestrian access while work concludes on the site,” said Prospect Park Alliance President Sue Donoghue. “I want to thank Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYC Parks Commissioner Silver for their innovative Parks Without Borders initiative, and the many community members who came out in support of this project. These new entrances will serve as an important gateway to the park for our east side communities, and to the park’s northeast corner, a focal point of our future restoration efforts.”

New Entrance Design

Prospect Park was nominated for Parks Without Borders with overwhelming support from the surrounding communities. The $3.2 million project includes a major entrance in the northeast section of the park near the former Rose Garden, the site of future restoration by Prospect Park Alliance, and a secondary entrance located just north of the Prospect Park Zoo. Both entrances feature new lighting, seating and new landscaping. The major entrance aligns with a future DOT traffic signal and pedestrian crosswalk, intersecting a berm retained by a three-foot-high granite wall, and opens opens onto a small public plaza.

The entrance design includes:

  • An extensive new landscape with over 150 new trees—a mix of elms, hackberry, sweetgum, a variety of oak species, and a large mix of evergreen varieties, such as pines and hollies, which are important for wildlife and help to screen traffic noise.
  • Two levels of terraced seating, which provides views of the woodlands and serves as a gathering space for the community.
  • Rock scrambles of boulders with stepping stones that lead to an informal running trail. These boulders were sourced from the building site of the NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital Center for Community Health in Park Slope.
  • A palette of native flowering and perennial plants that will be visually stunning, beneficial to the park ecosystem and resilient to climate change.
  • Access directly into Prospect Park’s woodlands—the first entrance to open directly onto this important park amenity, which is an area of focus and restoration for the Alliance since the early 1990s. Visitors are greeted by towering trees and can choose multiple paths that wind through the park’s 250 acres of woodlands.

Broader Restoration Plans

The creation of these entrances is part of a comprehensive restoration of the Flatbush Avenue perimeter of Prospect Park. A second project, funded with $2.4 million from Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams and Council Majority Leader Laurie Cumbo, and led by Prospect Park Alliance, restored the Flatbush Avenue perimeter from Grand Army Plaza to the Prospect Park Zoo to its original grandeur with new landscaping, an expanded promenade, and new furnishings. Through $2 million in funding by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Prospect Park Alliance also is restoring 1,200 linear feet of paths in this area of the park, with new paving, park benches and lighting, and much-needed tree care. In addition, Prospect Park Alliance is in the early design phases of creating a covered horseback riding ring for this area of the park, just north of the Zoo, for public and therapeutic riding. This $4.1 million project is funded through the support of the New York City Council, Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams and New York Council Member Brad Lander.

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Left to Right: Sue Donoghue, Prospect Park Alliance President; Assembly Member JoAnne Simon; Council Member Brad Lander; Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver; Majority Leader Laurie Cumbo; Brooklyn Parks Commissioner Martin Maher.

For the ribbon cutting, Deputy Mayor Been, Parks Commissioner Silver, and Prospect Park Alliance President Sue Donoghue were joined by City Council Majority Leader Laurie Cumbo, Council Member Brad Lander, Assembly Member JoAnne Simon, Borough Parks Commissioner Martin Maher and the Alliance design team.

“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,” said Council Majority Leader Laurie Cumbo.

“Prospect Park has been a wonderful reprieve for myself and many others during this pandemic period,” said City Council Member Brad Lander. “The new Flatbush Avenue entrances and the perimeter restoration will offer greater access to the Park as well as continued enjoyment for all users! I am thrilled to be apart of this ribbon cutting and am looking forward to watching my constituents as well as all the residents of Brooklyn enjoy these new features!”

Learn more about capital projects underway in Prospect Park on our Capital Projects Tracker.

c. Paul Martinka

Play Ball! Long Meadow Ball Fields Restored

October 9, 2020

Prospect Park Alliance has reopened Long Meadow Ball Fields 4 + 5 following a $1.25 million restoration funded by New York City Council Member Brad Lander. The project is part of a larger, phased restoration of the Long Meadow Ball Fields, with Fields 2 + 3 next in the pipeline (the remaining fields, 1, 6 + 7, opened over the past several years).

“I’m so glad that the restoration of the Long Meadow Ball Fields 4 + 5 is complete in time for ball players to enjoy them this fall,” said New York City Council Member Brad Lander. “Our parks and play areas are a critical resource, especially during this pandemic, to keep our communities happy, healthy, and connected.”

“We are so grateful to Council Member Brad Lander and his constituents for supporting this project,” said Prospect Park Alliance President Sue Donoghue. “These fields are a destination for thousands of Brooklynites each season for baseball, softball, soccer and flag football. Particularly during these times, we are committed to providing welcoming and accessible green space for our community.”

The project included reseeding the turf and new clay infields, as well as improved drainage to keep the fields in good playing condition; new pathways and benches were installed, as well as dedicated clay storage bins and shaded dugouts.

Learn more about Prospect Park Alliance capital projects on our Capital Project Tracker.

c. Virginia Friere

Play and Go in Prospect Park!

July 23, 2020

There is a new way to have fun in Prospect Park this summer! Join Prospect Park Alliance at locations around the park and surrounding neighborhoods as we bring our favorite activities from the Prospect Park Audubon Center and Lefferts Historic House on the road in easy-to-borrow play and go kits.

The  Pop-Up Lefferts Play and Go Kit  includes historic games and toys, including a DIY kits to make a nine-man morris game board and Mamantuhwin, a Native American (Lenape) dice game, which you can take home with you. There is also a wooden egg and spoon and potato sacks for races with your friends and family. A small library of children’s books can also be borrowed along with your kit on a first-come first-served basis. Learn more about dates and locations.

Pop-Up Audubon Play and Go Kits features a range of fun nature activities and games, as well as a birdwatching checklist with binoculars, and much more. Families and children can enjoy nature on their own as they explore and learn more about the park. Learn more about dates and locations.

Kits can be borrowed for up to 45 minutes, and will be sanitized between sessions. 

Pop-Up Audubon is made possible through the generous support of Con Edison.

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Pop-Up Lefferts is supported NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.

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Stavros Niarchos Foundation Short