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Scenic Owls Head overlook gets rehab

In the shadow of a generations-old birch tree, the long-awaited renewal of Owls Head Park was celebrated.

With the 69th Street Pier sticking its metaphorical toe into the water in the distance,and the Narrows sparkling beyond, City Councilmember Vincent Gentile, Brooklyn Parks Commissioner Julius Spiegel, Assemblymember Alec Brook-Krasny and others plied shovels high on the hill above Shore Road and 68th Street, to mark the commencement of a $1.35 million project to renovate the park’s scenic overlook, which has fallen into a state of disrepair.

The park is well-worth the expenditure, Spiegel stressed. “We have a million dollar view over here,” he told his listeners.

The end result -- which should be unveiled in about a year -- will be an inviting area replete with benches and other amenities that, Gentile foresaw, will be used as a community meeting place, to hold concerts, theatrical performances and the like, as well as serving as a bucolic getaway within the bustling neighborhood.

“The possibilities for this overlook are endless,” Gentile averred, stressing that it has been, “Something the community has missed for too long, a place in Owls Head where we could have different types of performances, and enjoy the beauty we have in Brooklyn, and the talent we have in Brooklyn too.”

The goal, he added, is to “bring back the old town feel in the big city.”

Over all, the rolling park terrain that characterizes Owls Head is “so magnificent,” said Josephine Beckmann, the district manager of Community Board 10. “It’s wonderful that the whole community, and especially the young people, will get to enjoy the park for generations to come.”

The renovation of the overlook is just the beginning of needed TLC for the park, noted Spiegel. One of the park’s key requirements -- which is not included in the current project -- is a fix for the “very serious erosion problem in the park,” he said.

That is something that the area’s representative in Congress, Michael McMahon, is trying to secure funding for, said Jonathan Yedin, who runs his Brooklyn office, and who told the assembled group that the hope was that McMahon would have something to announce on that front before the summer was over.

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