Brooklyn residents give their ideas for Bartlett Playground
by Benjamin Fang
Nov 23, 2017 | 53 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Dozens of south Williamsburg residents pitched their ideas on what they would want to see included at a renovated park in the community. Last Wednesday night, the Parks Department hosted a visioning session for Bartlett Playground, the latest site chosen to be part of the mayor’s Community Parks Initiative (CPI). According to Davey Ives, chief of staff for Brooklyn parks, the playground will receive an $8.8 million investment. “We’re excited to put some money and love into this park where it’s needed,” he said. Ives said the park, which is located near Whipple Street and Flushing Avenue, has received minimal investment over the last two decades. The initiative selects local neighborhood parks that have higher-than-average concentrations of poverty to make parks more equitable throughout the five boroughs. So far, the Community Parks Initiative has reconstructed 67 parks in 55 neighborhoods. “It’s one of our older parks,” Ives said. “We’re looking to green it up, to make it more sustainable and really enliven this space. We’re looking for a place that can activate the community by design.” According to officials, the design will take roughly a year to finalize. Construction will begin approximately in fall 2019, and the ribbon cutting will be in fall 2020 or spring 2021. During the visioning session, residents split up into breakout groups to give their ideas. Some wanted more basketball courts, play equipment for young teens, and bench seating with shade. Others asked for a lockable perimeter fence, lights for the courts, and to move the spray shower area. Kristen McConnell, who has lived in Williamsburg for three years, said her main priority is to make the playground more fun for her kids. She brings her young family there four times a week. “The playground equipment is kind of old and boring,” she said. “If the playground was more exciting, probably more kids would come and play and it would be more fun for everybody.” When Bartlett Playground eventually closes for construction, McConnell said she’ll likely take her family to Sternberg Park, which is a few blocks away. She said she already goes there now because it’s a “more fun playground.” McConnell said she also wants to see less garbage in the park. “It’s more about people not littering,” she said. Anthony Copeland, who has lived in the neighborhood for 54 years, has seen the park change over the years. He was raised in Williamsburg and later bought a home nearby. “Growing up, you came here,” he said. “As an adult, you bring your family there.” Copeland noted that the playground hasn’t improved in a long time. During the community meeting, some residents wanted to take away the spray shower area. Copeland disagreed. “The heat in the summertime, it gets very hot,” he said. “You want to bring the little kids out and let them run in the water.” The longtime resident said he would like to keep the basketball courts and fitness areas, both of which are popular. Another priority is keeping the community seating area. “Families want to come out and sit and picnic,” Copeland said. “Their children can run around and adults can sit and keep an eye on their children. “It’s fitting for all ages in the neighborhood,” he added.
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snehanambiar
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November 23, 2017
Mohammed S
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November 22, 2017
With all due respect - to have Larry Moreno and Victor Ogbo on the first and second teams makes a mockery of this list! I love those guys and Law and Tech is a great team but COME ON!!!! Larry won’t even sniff the court at St Francis and Ogbo is a solid low D2/ High D3 kid at best...
Randy Gast Awarded Martin Luther School’s 2017 Love in Christ Award
Nov 22, 2017 | 269 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Martin Luther School’s Board of Directors proudly recognized Mr. Randal C. Gast for his “extraordinary contributions and faithful service as MLS’s Executive Director in support of the school’s Mission and students from 2009-2017.” The presentation took place at a meeting of the entire MLS Faculty and Staff, which the Board hosted this week.

Mr. Gast moved to his new role as Director of International Recruitment in August to focus his efforts on growing MLS’s international enrollment further. Building on the strong foundation he laid for bringing even more international diversity to MLS, he has created an exciting global environment at MLS. Mr. Gast’s role will be a significant element of the school’s Reset for Growth strategy, which the Board announced last month.

James R. Regan, who replaced Mr. Gast as Martin Luther School’s Acting Executive Director beamed with pride as he commented “MLS is simply put: like no other school I know in the way we live and learn through our diversity. Randy Gast has made MLS proof that International diversity brings students together and spurs their growth as they meet, learn and play here.’’

Not one who likes being in the limelight, Mr. Gast humbly accepted the award and was speechless when President of the Board, Michael Jakob, announced this exciting recognition. Mr. Gast kindly sat with us to talk about this recognition, his plans as the new Director of International Admissions, and some of his most cherished memories at MLS.


Q: Congratulations on receiving your award last night – this kind of recognition shows how much you mean to the Martin Luther School Community – what does this recognition mean to you?

Randy: “It is a validation of one’s profession and time. This was totally unexpected, truly not necessary, but I am very humbled by it.”


Q: What are some of your most stand-out memories throughout your time here at MLS?

Randy: “The experience of working with kids who have been through so much in their lives at such a young age, has shown Randy the role that MLS plays in students’ lives. “The role we play as a school – transforming, reclaiming, and affecting lives is unimaginable. My greatest experience has been the opportunity to work with the students. Some see commencement as the most important day. But the day before commencement is the most important to me because it is the last time I am able to worship with that class.” Looking back on all of the school’s Walk-A-Thons, community events, and athletics activities, Randy explains, “Martin Luther School is one of the greatest ministries I have had in my 39 years, and I am thankful to God in some small and meaningful way that I am still able to manifest that part of my life moving forward.”

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