Today’s news:

Many taking long walks on new pier

The newly renovated portions of Canarsie Park are getting a workout from neighborhood residents.

Neal Duncan, the president of the United Canarsie South Civic Association (UCSCA), told this paper that people have been coming to the park and utilizing its facilities in droves.

“My wife and I walk in the park in the evening, and we see a lot of people doing the same thing,” he reported. “It’s a massive improvement from what was there four, five years ago.”

Despite the heavy use, Duncan added, the park has been kept clean. Calling the Parks maintenance people the “unsung heroes,” Duncan said that, after a busy Saturday, trash is picked up and bagged, “So people who come on Sunday don’t even know there were people there on Saturday.”

In addition, Duncan said, there was tremendous optimism about the second phase of the park’s reconstruction, which is currently getting underway. As signs of the work to come become visible, with the area to be rehabilitated being fenced off, he noted, “People are actually excited about it. I think this is going to be a state-of-the-art park. With all the money being pumped in there, I think it’s going to be the envy of the other boroughs.

Trish Bertuccio, a spokesperson for the Parks Department, said that work on phase two of the park’s reconstruction had begun on August 3rd, and should last approximately one year. This phase, she noted, will include a variety of improvements, such as new pathways, a fitness trail, exercise stations, an open music pavilion, bike racks, benches, new lighting, new landscaping and new trees. The work is being funded thanks to an allocation secured by City Councilmember Lewis Fidler, in the amount of $3.575 million, plus $115,000 allocated by Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

The third phase of the park reconstruction, which will include a new skate/BMX park, and a new playground, is currently being designed, Bertuccio also said. That phase is funded by $1.2 million allocated by Fidler, plus $600,000 allocated by Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz.

“It’s going to be a world-class park over there,” Bertuccio noted.

Bertuccio also told this paper that usage of the park appears to be way up. While she had no statistics, as of this writing, she said she had been told by the agency’s permit office, that there had been, “An explosion of activity there. It’s been a big success.”

Given the uptick in usage of the park, Bertuccio had a few words for those who utilize it, stressing, “We are trying to educate people to let them know what’s not allowed here and what is.

“Barbecuing is not permitted in the park,” she stressed. In addition, she said, “Gatherings of more than 10 people need to be permitted.” Thirdly, noted Bertuccio, “No amplified sound is permitted because of the proximity of residences.”

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