Thursday, May 9, 2013

Brownsville celebrates It's My Park Day in Betsy Head

In celebration of “It’s My Park Day,” last Friday thousands of New Yorkers came together to beautify their neighborhood parks and green spaces. In Brownsville, staff from the Brownsville Community Justice Center and members of the Brownsville Justice Community program joined 30 AmeriCorps volunteers from the New York Juvenile Justice Corps and John Jay College of Criminal Justice for a day of service in Betsy Head Park. Volunteers scraped unsightly, peeling paint from a giant retaining wall on the perimeter of the park and gave it a bright new coat. Volunteers also worked in a community garden, weeding, removing debris, and laying woodchips to enrich the soil. Lastly, a team of volunteers dispersed throughout the neighborhood to conduct “audits” at several other Brownsville parks, ballfields and playgrounds, including: Nehemiah, Livonia, Howard, Floyd Patterson, Chester, Dr. Richard Green and Carter G. Woodson. Audits involve assessing the parks' level of activity, quality, safety, signage, and aesthetics. Volunteers looked for signs of vandalism or excessive litter, whether there was adequate lighting and visibility from the street, and whether fields and facilities were maintained. The audit tool was designed by the Brownsville Partnership and Municipal Arts Society of New York and will be used to establish priorities and guide long-term planning for revitalizing Brownsville’s green spaces.
We would like to thank the Parks Department and Partnership for Parks for the support which made the day possible, as well as all the volunteers for their service toward a greener future for Brownsville.
With our scrapers hard at work, the sidewalk was soon covered with red paint chips.

Volunteers from John Jay showed off their green thumbs.

Volunteers carefully spread woodchips around trees and shrubs.

Brownsville Justice Community members made fast work of the bucket of woodchips. 

Our t-shirts represented all the partnerships at work!

Sonia Chowdury from the Center for Court Innovation came out to support the group.

Volunteers painting the 8-foot retaining wall along Strauss Street.

Enjoying the beautiful sunshine and first signs of spring!

The last traces of the chipped red paint soon disappeared under a fresh white coat.

Teamwork makes the dream work! Thank you volunteers. We appreciate your service!

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