$30 million Betsy Head Park Project Nears Completion
Construction at Phase 1 of Betsy Head Park In Brownsville, Brooklyn is nearing completion, and the $30 million Anchor Park is scheduled to open soon. This multi-phase 10.5 acre project re-imagines the two diagonally located parcels which constitute Betsy Head Park to create a cohesive, inclusive, and multi-generational park in Brownsville, Brooklyn. 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 goal of this initiative is to transform significant parts of these well-loved parks, so they better serve their communities. Betsy Head Park serves nearly 39,000 residents within a half-mile radius and is the main source of green space for the Brownsville community, making it the perfect candidate to be part of the transformative $150-million-dollar Anchor Park rehabilitation program.
The design for the northern parcel opened Summer 2020, and includes sweeping pathways and areas planted with shade trees, which connects to the southern Imagination Playground. The northern parcel design redevelops an asphalt lot into a landscaped park with soft, undulating planted areas, a community event space, and programming to serve park users of all ages and abilities.
The vision for this multi-phase park project is to provide a versatile design for the current and changing needs of the community. A parkour course provides a dynamic and imaginative way for teenagers to exercise, and an accessible ‘bankshot’ basketball circuit ensures programming is available for park visitors of all physical and mental abilities; both are the first-of-their-kind for NYC Parks and the City. The design vocabulary of the northern parcel complements the existing adjacent playground incorporating curvilinear, sweeping pathways, and a large urban skate park with sculptural geometries.
Phase 2 will be completed soon and an essential objective for the southern parcel was to provide a varied assortment of inclusive athletic programming. The southern parcel design complements the north by offering a variety of athletic programming and substantial upgrades including a recreational track encircling a multi-sport synthetic turf field, sport courts, a reimagined comfort station and other amenities.
The multi-sport synthetic turf field accommodates five different sports and a recreational running track provides cardiovascular exercise to compliment strength training at several fitness areas. Inclusivity and connectivity are further exemplified by removing physical and visual barriers such as walls, fences and a large, 285-foot long concrete bleacher and replacing them with accessible park entrances which strengthen connectivity to the neighborhood.