Feb. 27, 2020 By Michael Dorgan
The Parks Department is revamping an unkempt corner of L/CPL Thomas P. Noonan Playground and has just released preliminary design plans that feature a dog run and new seating areas.
The south west section of the park– near the intersection of Greenpoint Avenue and 42nd Street– will undergo a $2.5 million makeover to improve the gritty area where the homeless often congregate.
The dog run will be split into a 1,500 square foot area for large dogs and a 770 square foot area for smaller canines. Both spaces will boast benches, dog waste receptacles and bottle fillers with doggie bowls. The dog run will be parallel to Greenpoint Avenue.
The area adjacent to the proposed dog run will be resurfaced with concrete hexagon pavers and there will be benches, a game table, plantings and a pedestrian pole with 1964 World’s Fair-themed lighting installed. At the entrance–by Greenpoint Avenue and 42nd Street– there will be a concrete seat wall.
The new dog run, however, is the main talking point and the result of a grass roots effort by a group of local dog owners—who formed the Friends of Noonan Park Dog Run.
Christine Coulombe, the group’s leader, said they approached Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer with the idea of a dog run because they felt that there is a lack of public dog facilities in the southern section of the neighborhood.
“We really have a lot of dogs in the neighborhood so I think this dog run is going to be very heavily used,” she said.
“It’s not only great for the dogs but also really creates community, a place where people who have dogs can come to meet each other, so we’re thrilled,” said Coulombe.
Coulombe said all of the amenities they requested have been approved, including a double entrance gate as well as a four-foot high steel fence that will keep dogs in and children out.
“There will also be three or four feet of greenery behind the fencing which will look really nice aesthetically but will also prevent kids from coming right up to the fence and putting their hands in,” she added.
The group, which has about 30 members, will be responsible for the upkeep of the dog run and will be provided with a storage shed to hold brooms and equipment.
“It’s going to be a real game changer for the neighborhood,” she said.
The project is currently in a design phase which will run until June and then a nine month procurement period will kick off. Pending a successful construction bid, work will begin in spring 2021 and be completed by spring 2022.
Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer secured funding for the project from Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office in 2018 and the revamp will represent the final stage of the park’s three-phase overhaul.
In 2015, the playground was expanded and new climbing areas, swings, safety surfaces and shrubbery were fitted. A new sprinkler as well as a flagpole in recognition of Lance Corporal Thomas P. Noonan Jr., who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor after the Vietnam War, were also added.
In 2016, the basketball courts and handball courts were resurfaced with new asphalt.
Upon the completion of Phase 3, the entire park–with the exception of the bathrooms– will have been redone in recent years.
There is currently no funding in place for the bathrooms, the Parks Dept. said.