Last Thursday, the Parks Department and the Prospect Park Alliance announced that new entrances and the renovated perimeter along Flatbush Avenue have been completed. The projects were funded by the city through the Parks Without Borders initiative and from local elected officials.
“The iconic Prospect Park is now even more inviting and accessible thanks to this investment,” Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver said. “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.”
The first new entrance is located in the northeast section of the park near the former Rose Garden, the site of a future restoration project. The second is just north of the Prospect Park Zoo on Flatbush Avenue.
The $3.2 million effort includes new lighting, seating and landscaping, including over 150 new trees. The Department of Transportation (DOT) is planning to install a traffic signal and pedestrian crosswalk at the first entrance, which leads to a small public plaza with two levels of terraced seating.
According to the Prospect Park Alliance, there are also stepping stones that lead to an informal running trail on top of a berm retained by a three-foot-high granite wall.
The $2.4 million project to restore the Flatbush Avenue perimeter was funded with allocations from Borough President Eric Adams and Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo. The perimeter runs from Grand Army Plaza down to the Prospect Park Zoo.
“Prospect Park Alliance is committed to making Prospect Park open and accessible to all communities it borders,” said alliance president Sue Donoghue. “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.”
Thanks to $2 million from the city, the Prospect Park Alliance is now restoring 1,200 feet of paths with new paving, park benches and lighting.
The nonprofit organization is also working on designing a covered horseback riding ring in Prospect Park for both public and therapeutic riding. The $4.1 million project has been funded by the City Council and the borough president’s office.
Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo said although the projects were planned pre-pandemic, the new entrances and perimeter 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,” she said.