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Greenpoint residents celebrated the neighborhood’s newest park — though it won’t be open officially until 2012.
City officials broke ground at WNYC Transmitter Park on Tuesday morning, beginning the 18-month process to construct a park at the end of Greenpoint Avenue.
The site was once home to two WNYC transmission towers, which broadcast the public radio station’s signal since the 1930s.
The 1.6-acre splotchy patch of dirt and grass has sat mostly unused, but it will be dug up and redeveloped into a new park complete with a 300-foot pier at the foot of Kent Street, a waterfront esplanade and a children’s water park.
Parks commissioner Adrian Benepe refused to take credit for the new park, noting that “building parks is one of the greatest things I can do and a pleasure for me.” He did own up to preserving a beloved fig tree, “Figgy,” in the north corner of the park that many residents thought was in danger of destruction because the soil underneath the tree may be toxic.
Benepe promised that Figgy would be treated and replanted.
“We’re saving the fig tree,” said Benepe. “We’re transplanting it on site. This is not a figment of your imagination.”
Unfortunately, the puns continued to flow courtesy of Marty Maher, the chief of staff for the Brooklyn office of the Parks Department, who suggested the tree be planted closer to Newtown Creek, “so you could call it Fig Newtown.”
Good one, Marty.
©2010 Community Newspaper Group
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