Friday, September 09, 2011

September 11, Park Cleanup and Food Drive at Brizzi Playground - Boro-Park, Brooklyn 

Residents of Boro Park will commemorate the 10th Anniversary of Septtember 11 by volunteering at a local park and donating to a food drive. Brizzi Playground, named after Nicholas A. Brizzi (1918-1982), a World War II hero, will get a face-lift Sunday, when residents will clean and paint the playground.

The park is surrounded by various schools and young families with children who have a vested interest in keeping the park kid-friendly. In the past there were problems with homelessness, filth and illegal behavior that made it difficult for kids to use the facility. Recently an unused Bocce court was covered up and filled with gravel and soil and plants to prevent it from attracting vandalism. But the playground remains open all night and attracts vagrants. Interest and concern for the park got the attention of local City Council Members Sara Gonzalez and Brad Lander, who aside from raising these concerns with the Parks Department and the Police Department, were also able to secure $500,000 to renovate Brizzi Playground.

"Getting the neighborhood to take ownership of the park and become civically involved, is the main goal of Sunday's event," said Alexander Rapaport, Executive Director of Masbia and a neighbor of the park. "Anyone who will invest a little of their time cleaning or painting the park will forever be connected to it in a caring way, which results in a cleaner and safer park."

Sunday's volunteer activities will include repainting the playground with kid-friendly colors, a thorough cleanup and a questionnaire to all the people using the park about what they would like to see in their playground. It will also include an exciting program for kids which will have them artistically express their vision for the playground with crayons and paint. Families will be enticed to come for the Pony rides and free cotton candy which will be offered from noon-4pm.

Families are also being encouraged to participate in a food drive for Masbia soup kitchen, by donating cans and non-perishable food. Everyone who participates will receive a free balloon sculpture.

An unofficial group Friends of Brizzi Playground was formed. You can find them on Facebook and on Parks Department website under Park's Partnerships. Future goals include locking up the park at night, which will require volunteers; more and comprehensive signage of the park rules; more swings; more frequent police presence in the park; and in the long term securing enough funding to redo the entire park. During the duration of this effort, the Parks Department were very helpful and readily available.

For more info please contact, Alexander Rapaport, alex@masbia.org

Where: 10th Avenue between 42nd and 43rd Streets, Brooklyn NY

When: Sunday, September 11, 12-4pm

What: Volunteer Day in the Park, Food Drive and Fun

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