December 2017
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MAS Eyes on the City: Betsy Head Park, Brownsville

Thank you to everyone who provided feedback!

Thank you to everyone who provided feedback!

Last Saturday, MAS joined the Brownsville Partnership, Partnerships for Parks, and other community based organizations to get our hands dirty: cleaning, planting, and painting Betsy Head Park in Brownsville, Brooklyn. While we were busy potting soil and filling trash bags, we worked with neighborhood park-goers to identify their priorities as we advocate for an improved Betsy Park.

Over the past two years, MAS has been collaborating with Brownsville Partnership and other community organization to advocate for a change at Betsy Head Park, and in February 2013 the park was identified as an area for intervention during the annual Hope Summit. Since then, we’ve helped to conducted several workshops and meetings with diverse stakeholders, from city agencies to the general public. These engagements helped us narrow down the issues at Betsy Heady Park, to design, circulation, activities (public space programming), and the condition of facilities and park furniture.

Cleaning up Betsy Head

Cleaning up Betsy Head Park

Last Saturday, we had community members add to our research. Using post-it notes, they helped us understand what to prioritize. Key to the park’s future are addressing safety concerns and the park’s lack of lighting, especially because of how important this park is for families.

Community engagement is an important opportunity for citizens to have a direct influence on the proposed design of neighborhood improvements. In the upcoming month, MAS, as part of our dynamic neighborhoods campaign, will facilitate a design charrette where residents, community organization and designers will work together to build a vision for Betsy Head Park based on local needs.