FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | BETSY HEAD PARK PRESS RELEASE
$30 Million Betsy Head Park in Brownsville Opens to Public, Providing an Integral Revitalized Green Space to Thousands of Brooklyners
Brooklyn, NY (February 2021) – Abel Bainnson Butz, LLP (ABB) Landscape Architects in collaboration with NYC Parks completed
construction of the much-anticipated overhaul of the 106-year-old Betsy Head Park. This multi-phase, $30-million project re-imagines the two
diagonally located parcels that constitute Brownsville’s biggest park to create a cohesive, inclusive, and multi-generational green space. ABB
led a team of design consultants to develop a project vision that both upgrades infrastructure and accommodates a versatile balance of active
and passive programming - a design that refreshes this influential 10.5-acre urban park to serve generations to come.
The vision for this multi-phase park project is to provide a versatile experience for all ages and abilities which meets the current and changing
needs of the community. The new design offers areas for relaxation and exercise that are tailored towards teenagers and adults of all abilities.
Exciting new features include the first-ever constructed New York City Parkour teen fitness course and inclusionary self-competitive basketball
course for those with physical and mental disabilities.
The site design for each parcel responds to its specific context while preserving large trees and incorporating program derived from
community workshops and neighborhood planning efforts. The design vocabulary of the northern parcel complements the adjacent existing
Imagination Playground incorporating curvilinear, sweeping pathways, and a large urban skate park with sculptural geometries. A multipurpose
event space with amphitheater-style seating accommodates the ever-changing needs of the community and a range of small-scale
community events such as farmer’s markets, informal outdoor performance events, tai chi, yoga, and outdoor movie screenings and serves
as an outdoor classroom for adjacent schools.
A critical objective for the southern parcel was to accommodate a varied assortment of inclusive athletic programming. The multi-sport
synthetic turf field accommodates 5 sports (Softball, Football, Soccer, Girl’s/Boy’s Lacrosse) and a 4-lane recreational running track provides
cardiovascular exercise to complement strength training at several outdoor fitness stations. Other site amenities include granite domino and
chess tables, a multi-purpose space, traverse wall, handball court, seating areas, outdoor fitness equipment, basketball courts, new security
lighting, ADA accessible entrances, and a completely renovated comfort station.
After serving the Brownsville community for over a century, this large, Brownsville Park was chosen by the Mayor’s office as part of a
$150-million-dollar investment to provide substantial capital improvements to five large, regional parks across each of the NYC boroughs. The
five Anchor Parks, as they are referred to, provide a stabilizing, centering force for the communities they serve by offering larger and more
diverse resources than smaller community parks. The goal of this initiative is to transform significant parts of these well-loved parks, so they
better serve their communities. The Betsy Head Park project provides an opportunity to reimagine a park based on today’s needs through
community feedback coupled with the ongoing planning efforts with various local groups and Community Board 16. Betsy Head Park is under
the jurisdiction of The New York City Department of Parks & Recreation and design services were performed as work for hire contracted by
NYC DPR. The park opened to the public in winter 2020.
Abel Bainnson Butz, LLP, founded in 1968, is an award-winning landscape architectural design and site planning practice based in NYC that
works on projects of all scales. ABB has served as Lead Landscape Architectural Consultant on hundreds of NYC open space projects across
the tristate area.
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