Have an idea for Shore Road Park? Your voice can be heard!

This lawn could be considered the heart of Shore Road Park, but poor field conditions and restricted access pose challenges for general use… challenges that could be addressed in the new master plan, but only if designers hear that from the community.

Changes are afoot (maybe!) at Shore Road Park, and you have a chance to put in your ten cents.

A Long Island environmental design firm is developing a master plan for Shore Road Park at the behest of the Shore Road Parks Conservancy and the New York City Parks Department. Such a plan could serve as a loose blueprint for redevelopment of the park as funds become available over the next 10 to 20 years, as presented in a workshop that took place two weeks ago at Fort Hamilton High School. (See also: Caroline Spivack wrote about some of the preliminary concepts for the middle third of the park for BrooklynDaily.com back in March.)

If you missed that workshop, your voice can still be heard.  All you have to do is e-mail Rusty Schmidt at rschmidt@nelsonpopevoorhis.com and put “Shore Road Park” in the subject line. But please do it by May 15! That would give your input the best possible chance for getting considered in the master plan.

The future of the park may be at stake, or maybe it’s not. You should still speak up.

Nobody is promising anything here. The development of a master plan doesn’t mean that funds and resources will definitely materialize, or that things will be built exactly as they appear in the plan. But on the other hand, maybe they do. This could be a once-in-a-generation opportunity to shape the future of Shore Road Park, and if you’re one of the 70,000 or so Bay Ridge residents that didn’t make it to the workshop, this is your chance to say, “This is my park, and this is what I’d like to see.”

Just a few ideas to get the creative juices flowing:

  • The open space from 74th to 78th Streets is the park’s largest – I would argue that it is the heart of Shore Road Park, yet it isn’t inviting to leisurely strolls. The condition of the open fields is pretty bad, and access to the third field is restricted. I personally would like to see the ballfields stay (and not be replaced with synthetic turf), but the conditions should be fixed and access opened up when not in use. Your suggestions may vary.
  • That said, maybe the park wouldn’t need eight different softball fields if three of them weren’t restricted-access. If all of the fields were open when not used by leagues and schools – it is, after all, a public park – other groups involved in pick-up games not rising to the level of requiring a permit could use them, and a field or two could be removed to make room for something else.
  • Like other athletic facilities. A pool (since not everyone can get a sponsor to the Fort Hamilton Community Club) or roller hockey rink (since fans lost their rink at 18th Avenue’s misnamed Gravesend Park).
  • Or a small stage, for outdoor theater productions or music, which ideally would encompass a broader variety of bands than Sixties, Seventies, and Eighties cover bands.
  • Getting water features in playgrounds turned on in a timely fashion in the summer seems to be an issue here. I bet that’s not an issue in Prospect Park. That may be a day-to-day maintenance issue, but it couldn’t hurt to mention that now, could it?
  • Community gardens: why should the Floyd Bennett Gardens Association have all of the fun?
  • Friendly reminder that the construction zone across from Fort Hamilton High School will be coming to an end, and is basically a blank canvas at this point.

Maybe you like these ideas. Maybe you don’t. Hopefully you have your own and that’s the point – it’s your park as much as it’s anyone else’s, and this is your chance to say so.