A little-known area in the northeast section of Prospect Park, where three empty concrete fountains haven’t sprayed water for decades, will eventually be repurposed into a welcoming and vibrant space for the community.
The fountains were once part of a rose garden that flourished in the early 1900s. The area, along Flatbush Avenue, hasn’t served as a garden since the mid-1960s, but following months of community input, the Prospect Park Alliance released a report Wednesday outlining its vision for restoring the area.
The redevelopment is part of the alliance’s long-term goal to enhance the northeast corner of the park, which includes a restoration of Flatbush Avenue that started in April, the construction of two new entrances and the refurbishment of the woodlands.
Throughout 2017, the alliance held more than 30 events to speak with community members in the park’s surrounding neighborhoods and put out an online survey. In total, the group heard from more than 3,000 people.
Three common priorities surfaced: preserve and enhance the site, add family-friendly features and make it more functional, comfortable and welcoming, according to the report.
The report also outlines some ideas that could meet those priorities, including keeping its “hidden” character, incorporating more native plants and adding new features to make it more useful to the community.
“A potential multipurpose space within the building can be used for a small cafe, community events, education,” the report says. “A natural play feature tucked within the trees can invite people of all ages to climb, play and explore the dense greenery from different heights.”
One of the planned new entrances to the park is also expected to help make the area more accessible and visible.
The ideas in the report will need to be refined once funding is secured, and the improvements are at least a few years away, the alliance said. It is currently planning a new fundraising campaign with the goal of covering the cost of the restoration, as well as future maintenance.
“The last thing we want to do is do this restoration and then not have the funds to take care of it,” Deborah Kirschner, AVP of marketing and communications at the Prospect Park Alliance, said.
Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated how many people the Prospect Park Alliance heard from. In total, the group heard from more than 3,000 people.