They say everyone has a place in New York, and now with a new park opening behind PS 192 on 18th Avenue and 48th Street in Brooklyn, children with disabilities will have just as much fun as able-bodied kids. Two lawmakers, Councilman David Greenfield and state Sen. Simcha Felder were instrumental in the construction of the new park that includes amenities for children in wheelchairs such as ramps, ground level play features, accessible swings, wheelchair-accessible tables and wheelchair-accessible drinking fountains.
Greenfield told the Brooklyn Eagle, “I’m so proud that have literally turned a wasteland into a beautiful new park in our community. We all need open space to enjoy some fresh air, exercise and play with our kids and grandkids.”
Under an initiative that began under the Bloomberg Administration, communities are actively seeking how to convert unused schoolyards into public parks. Both Greenfield and Felder gave generously to the new Borough Park and were adamant that the construction include wheelchair-accessible features.
The park now boasts a large running track, tennis court, basketball hoops, two new turf fields, a tot lot, an area for 5 to 12 year-olds, maps and games painted on the asphalt as well as more than 25 newly planted trees and numerous benches.
The Brooklyn Eagle quoted Felder as saying, “For many years the standard joke was that Borough Park didn’t have any parks. The opening of this park has long been eagerly awaited by the entire community”.
And when he says entire community, he means it. The wheelchair-accessible features are being hailed by the disabled community as a major step forward in including their needs when planning and designing civic projects. Students at PS 192 will use the park during school hours, and the public will have access to it after school and on weekends and holidays.