Group puts local parks to the test

BEDFORD-STUYVESANT - An advocacy group put Brooklyn parks and fields to the test, and the resulting grades were not all that good.

The group New Yorkers for Parks looked at things like broken glass, litter and sloppy maintenance to determine the grades for its annual survey of about 50 city parks. Overall, athletic fields received a failing grade. Courts received a C- and playgrounds received a C+. The parks surveyed were selected randomly.

?All of our recreational spaces, athletic fields, courts [and] playgrounds could all use improvement,? New Yorkers for Parks member Sheelah Feinberg says.

One of the complaints the group had was that gates at Co-op City Field and Castle Hill Little league were locked. However, the Parks Department says it keeps the gates locked when the fields aren?t in use to keep them in good condition.

News 12 Brooklyn visited Brower Park, which was not as bad as the other city parks. No litter or broken glass was discovered.

New Yorkers for Parks hopes that its findings will push the Parks Department to make repairs and step up maintenance and staffing. The group also thinks a no-glass rule should be initiated at all parks, a rule that is already in effect on Brooklyn beaches.

The Parks Department says it has expanded its staff to tend to the facilities. It also says it has an internal inspection program, the most comprehensive in the country. According to the Parks Department, nine out of 10 city parks meet its tough standards. The agency also says city parks are in the best shape they?ve ever been in.

Click here to see how your local playground ranks

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