THIS WEEK: United Friends of McCarren Park

April 2, 2008 by
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic 

Thursday, April 3 at 7:00 p.m. the newly formed United Friends of McCarren Park will be meeting at the Automotive High School Library. Some items on the agenda for this event are as follows:

1. The “group structure” subcommittee will present a proposal for an ongoing structure and format for the group. It is going to change the way you think about democracy.

2. If the structure proposal is agreed upon, UFMP will vote on members of a Steering Committee. Those interested in taking a leadership role in this new group will be asked to introduce themselves and say a few words about their interest in the park, etc.

3. Ideas for continued outreach to other park users, etc.

Those of you who are not familiar with U.F.M.P. is about will find this synopsis from their latest announcement informative:

The best way to get the parks we deserve is through persistent community attention to each park. GWAPP (Greenpoint Waterfront Association for Parks & Planning) wants to help kickstart a big (and sustained) Push for Parks all across our North Brooklyn neighborhoods by helping to create (where one doesn’t exist) support (where one does exist) and unite (where, as with McCarren Park, several active groups co-exist) park-specific Friends Groups.

The purpose of these groups will be to gather information about the way the community uses the park, the issues and needs of each park and, most importantly, establish a community representative (or two or six or twenty) of that park, acting as a watchdog and persistently (key word) pushing for improvements – whether from the city, the Open Space Alliance (, neighbors, local businesses, grants…

We have an opportunity, with this particular Mayor and the promises made regarding the McCarren Park Pool, Ice Skating Rink and Skate Park, to push for real improvements in McCarren Park. We need to make sure we have a unified and coherent voice in the way the park is maintained and plans made for future developments. With the Pool reconstruction underway (design-wise at least) it seems the various user-groups of this potentially wonderful park have a shared purpose. Let’s use it to make the park better

Anyone who is interested in attending April 3rd’s meeting, has suggestions for the meeting format and/or agenda or wants to suggest other park user-groups who might wish to participate should contact Dewey Thompson at:

dthompson (at) pickerelpie (dot) com

In closing, I will leave you with some materials I recently acquired that hail back to the McCarren Park of yore. I am not too certain when they date from (my guess is the 1980s), but they bear testament that to the fact that the only way we, as residents of North Brooklyn, are going to effect any real and lasting change regarding our public spaces is to unite and hold our public officials accountable for the promises they have made.

The more eagle-eyed among you will notice closing Driggs Avenue to vehicular traffic is not such a new idea after all.

Comfort Station– in disrepair

Despite the radical changes Williamsburg and Greenpoint have undergone the last ten years I find it perversely comforting (no pun intended) that some things remain the same.

Miss Heather

P.S.: Be sure to check out the enlarged rendering of the old park plan which graces the beginning of this post. It is quite interesting.


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