The $3.2 million redesign will transform the space at Woodward and Fairview avenues, which hasn’t seen any upgrades in two decades.
Borough President Melinda Katz allocated $2.7 million from her fiscal year 2017 budget and Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley chipped in an additional $500,000.
The redesign calls for three dedicated play areas designated by age. Along Fairview Avenue there will be new trees, benches and concrete pavers, as well as an upgraded comfort station and spray shower.
Ellen Knechel of the Friends of Rosemary Playground said they’re happy to see the park finally get a redesign.
“It’s a playground that gets a ton of use, there’s always kids crawling all over the play equipment,” she explained. “It’s a very well-used, well-loved park.”
She said one of the group’s concerns however, is that the play area for samller children will not be large enough to accommodate the number of kids who use the park.
One issue that members of CB5 raised was the lowering of an exterior fence encircling the park to four feet. Currently it’s seven feet.
They were worried that the homeless who tend to congregate near Madison Street and Woodward Avenue under the elevated train would migrate to the park, which has happened in the past.
But board member John Maier noted the park isn’t locked at night, so the lower fencing won’t be changing the egress. Plus, the four-foot fencing will be on top of existing concrete wall, making it nearly seven feet on that side of the park.
Carmen Santana, a board member and resident of Woodward Avenue, thinks any potential health hazards from the elevated M train need to be addressed before they continue with upgrades.
“The decay up there is absolutely unbelievable,” Santana said, noting that there were issues with lead and asbestos falling from the structure in the past.