NYC Parks Department Draft Design (April 2024) for Sara Roosevelt Park

Parks is set to return to CB 3 Parks Committee Meeting on Thursday June 13, 2024. but please double check with the CB3 Calendar

Delays beyond that date will mean no approval from the CB board until September (CB3 doesn’t meet in July/August).


NYC Parks presented the draft design (below) at the April Meeting of the Community Board 3 Parks Committee.

We think it’s a solid design, innovative and generous in many ways, and answers long-time issues with this section of Sara Roosevelt Park. The Parks Department and the Design team listened to the neighborhood, honored the park uses of 40 years, created workable compromises, and addressed long, long, long time park problems.

(like finally removing the cars from the Broome Streetway area the park!)


We can see a few fixes are needed. Some are just practical things we’ve learned from working here and some are needed to ensure the continuation of our unique gardens and multi-use spaces.

The four -decade old presence of distinctive gardens, unusual sports options, an accessible shared multi-use space for local parents, children, all residents, community organizations and small businesses must be protected and maintained.

We want to honor our long-time community activist gardeners who kept our signature gardens cared for  as volunteers, some for almost 40 years.

The Chinese-American Planning Council, Sea of Galilee Church, Gus’s Bodega, Hua Mei Birders, Bike Polo, Bowery Football Club, City Relief – tourists, our 8 nearby schools – and everyone else who uses this park area has long understood we share it with a multitude of people and purposes.

Parks had (and with budget cuts – once again has) no gardeners here, but because the neighbors took command of this formerly abandoned park, these gardens, with the help and assistance of our NYC Park Managers (in particular Jamil Phillips), continue to this day.


Our responses below are gleaned from listening directly to the neighborhood that uses this park, the Hua Mei, de Britto and other gardeners who’ve been here since the 1980’s and the long time sports, community, cultural and performance groups (soccer, martial arts, tennis, volleyball, bike polo, unicyclists, Burmese Water Festival,  day-care centers, bike helmet give-aways, theater groups, Football club, etc.) who use this section of the park – making everyone safer (along with a PEP and 5th Pct Police presence as needed and possible).


Parks is set to return to CB 3 Parks Committee Meeting on Thursday June 13, 2024. but please double check with the CB3 Calendar

Delays beyond that date will mean no approval from the CB board until September (CB3 doesn’t meet in July/August).

We believe that with this design and the proposed fixes below we can ensure the continuation of our beloved and activated spaces while welcoming the upgrades and basic improvements (like water!!). Keeping us safer, healthier, more inclusive, and more beautiful.

We sincerely hope that there are no major changes to the design!

Because – those who live here – cannot afford to wait.

Our Analysis (from many listening tours!):



NYC Parks participation: virtual, in-park, via email (and other prior community engagements):

1st meet-up (in-park) September 2022 Coalition (announced to all in our Update) to upgrade the Pit (drainage etc).

2nd meet-up. April 2023. Parks held a virtual community meeting. Attendees “ranked the following issues of community importance: Security/safety, Active recreation, Garden & Planting, Maintenance, Amenities, and Circulation” – according to the Parks Dept). Sara Roosevelt Park Community Coalition (SRPCC) and the Alliance were in attendance.

3rd meet-up. September 2023. Parks participated in an in-park event to gather more input on wishes for this section from nearby residents, small businesses, and park goers to ensure participation of those who may work evenings or who have no internet access, flyers were in the three languages used in this neighborhood. Interpretation was available for those present. NYS Sen. Kavanagh’s rep Emily Leng and the SRPCC organized the event.

Tabling by: Congressman Goldman’s rep John Blasco, State Senator Kavanagh/Emily Leng, Assembly Member Lee/local rep Fannie Ip, Council Member Marte, The Chinese Progressive Association/Mae Lee, University Settlement, Sara Roosevelt Park Community Coalition Debra Jeffreys-Glass/K Webster, M’Finda Kalunga Community Garden Bud Shalala/Sandy Pliego, Mayor’s Office of Community Engagement, NYC Parks Max Goodstein, Ricardo Hinkle, and Design Team Crystal Xing

Invitees – SRPCC email list all were invited.

4th Parks design team made themselves available after the in park event to accept other suggestions. Invitations sent out again to all major stakeholders. Including the Alliance.

5th Other prior community engagements – The Chinatown Working Group plan of 2010, impromptu tabling on Broome by SRPCC, University Settlement’s ROAR festival Ribbon Plot tabling.

We keep all the emails we send out to community organizations and individuals (blind copied but we keep those Updates on file including all those addresses we send to).

Thus, we know that every major stakeholder organization was included.

It is our role as stakeholder organizations to alert anyone we think may be most affected by the park’s design in a timely way to the best of our (limited) abilities. We, as a collective effort, may not reach everyone – but we know it is our job to try.





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