Excerpts from Cuomo press release
The largest state park in New York City will fully open in Brooklyn in the summer of 2019. The new 407-acre park will be named in honor of Shirley Chisholm, a Brooklyn-born trailblazer who was the first African American Congresswoman, as well as the first woman and African American to run for President. The park is a signature project under the Governor’s Vital Brooklyn Initiative and complements the state’s efforts to build 34 new or improved pocket parks, community gardens, playgrounds and recreation centers within a 10-minute walk for every Central Brooklyn resident.
The first phase of the park, which will be complete next summer when the park opens full-time, seven days a week, will feature 10 miles of trails for hiking and biking, including bike connector paths that will ultimately join the Pennsylvania and Fountain Avenue properties, waterfront access for kayaking, pop-up environmental education, a pier with a shade structure, picnic areas, concessions, comfort facilities, welcome and wayfinding signage and a park office. As part of today’s announcement, Governor Cuomo directed relevant state agencies to start the process of park design and implementation.
“Our state parks are community treasures, and this new park transforms what was once landfill into exquisite open space, waterfront access and outdoor recreation for Brooklyn,” Governor Cuomo said. “Shirley Chisholm led the fight to improve the health and wellness of underserved communities that we carry on today with the Vital Brooklyn initiative, and we are proudly naming this park after her in admiration for the example of leadership and devotion she set for all of us.”
Phase 1 of the park is funded by a state investment of up to $20 million to open the ecologically restored property and make 3.5 miles of waterfront available to provide crucial new open space access in one of the most underserved areas of the state.
Public meetings will begin in the fall of 2019 for the design of Phase 2; which will be completed in 2020 and 2021. Based on community input, Phase 2 could feature a new amphitheater for live events, environmental education center, lawn patios and a cable ferry or a connector bridge over the water which will link the Pennsylvania and Fountain Properties.
The 407-acre site, which has never been open to the public, includes the former Pennsylvania Avenue Landfill and Fountain Avenue Landfill, which were operated by NYC Department of Sanitation from 1956-1983 and deeded to the National Park Service as part of Gateway National Recreation Area in 1974. In 2002, the NYC Department of Environmental Protection began a $235 million site remediation that included the installation of an impermeable cap and below-ground barrier to support future use.
Senator Roxanne Persaud said, “As a Brooklyn resident, I know first-hand how hard it can be to find well-maintained green space. Parks are more than just a gathering place—they are an opportunity for families to spend quality time, for children and adults to learn, and for people to take advantage of all the great outdoors have to offer. Parks help keep families close, encourage our youth to explore, and provide residents with a place to partake in outdoor recreation. I thank Governor Cuomo for spearheading this initiative and for recognizing the importance of parks in the everyday lives of New Yorkers across the state.”
Assembly Member Latrice Walker said, “For far too long, our community has been neglected—without access to quality healthcare, quality food, and quality green open spaces. Governor Cuomo’s Vital Brooklyn Initiative has changed the circumstances for our community, helping to transform Central Brooklyn—and today’s announcement only enhances that transformation. The creation of Shirley Chisholm State Park is a welcome addition to our community, and I thank Governor Cuomo for his commitment to the people of Central Brooklyn.”