Prospect Park celebrates 150 years

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PROSPECT PARK -

Thursday marked 150 years since Prospect Park opened to the public.

The park began to deteriorate in the 1970s until the Prospect Park Alliance formed in the 1980s. As a volunteer and Brooklyn resident, Joanna Leefer has witnessed its evolution.

News 12 Extra: Learn more about the history of Prospect Park

"I've been in the neighborhood since the '80s, so I've seen it when it's been bad," she says. "It's like seeing a child grow."

Parts of the park were badly damaged when Superstorm Sandy hit in 2012. Goats were brought in to clear the space, and now dozens of volunteers are stepping in.

"We're at the planting phase, which is the most fun part where we actually get to put something back in the ground and start the whole process," says volunteer Brian Sullivan.

The next project for the alliance involves sprucing up the side of the park on Flatbush Avenue, as well as adding two new entrances.

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