Maria Hernandez Park to undergo massive multimillion-dollar makeover

Maria Hernandez Park in Brooklyn will soon undergo a massive multimillion-dollar makeover.
New York City's parks department says plans are in the works to redo the playground and the dog run. As of right now, the park is home to the only off-leash run area in Bushwick.
"It really needs work done. It's served its purpose for a time, but if they could fix it up that would be great," said Hugo, a dog owner who frequents the park.
Pet owners say the dog run area has dealt with a lot of wear and tear over the years. The gravel surface has also become susceptible to flooding. The new makeover is expected to serve a solution.
"So we're going to have a new dog run with doggy turf with some nice shades, some new trees. We do doggy drinking fountains so the doggies can quench their thirst," said Martin Maher, the Brooklyn borough commissioner for the Parks Department.
The playground at Maria Hernandez Park will also receive upgrades for the first time in 25 years.
"It's going to be brand-new play equipment and swings for all ages and abilities. We like to make sure our equipment is accessible," Maher said. "New drinking fountains, security, lighting, landscaping, trees and fencing where it's needed so kids are not running out into the streets."
Bushwick residents tell News 12 they are happy with the investment because Maria Hernandez Park is more than just a place to walk their dogs to them.
"It's a really tight-knit group. You know, I have roommates that I've met in the dog park and people I've known for 10 years. They've become close friends," said Rob Hendrickson.
The Parks Department says the project will cost $6.78 million, which will be fully funded by the City Council. They say the project was spearheaded largely in part by Council Member Jennifer Gutiérrez.
Officials say the dog run is still in the design phase but they hope to break ground soon. If all goes according to plan, the anticipated completion date is January 2025.