The August article (Why) Build a Full-Size Field on Gansevoort Park? about the excellent public presentation July 24 of Hudson River Park’s plans for the Gansevoort Peninsula, noted that several key issues are yet unresolved. Since it may be several more weeks before we hear of the next stage of planning, I offer these friendly suggestions for consideration.
• Resiliency, I believe, is still a huge concern, since a “Sandy-type” flood surge would ruin this beautiful park. Just as the city has decided to build up the playing fields at the East River Greenway, why not slope up the edges to a height that gives the park a better chance of surviving?
• The case for the U-14 regulation field, given in public testimony, was overwhelmingly urgent. Depending on the placement of the U-14, perhaps the ‘pine grove’ could be elongated as a buffer to hide the fencing from the street, the Promenade might be relocated to the north side, and the “River Gym” could be moved south adjacent to the sand area?
• On the south side where the sandlot is shown, some of stone rip-rap slopes could be replaced with broad steps, some wood, some stone, like the landscape consultant masterfully did at Chicago’s Navy Pier, to give a more direct connection from sand to water?
• Comments we heard about the artificial turf fields being “a field covered in plastic”, “a plastic park”, “ugly”, etc., might be resolved by the city Parks Department’s newly developed artificial turf, made entirely of plant-based sources, producing a better, more ’natural-feeling’ paving that’s not plastic, and more ecological too.
I look forward to the next step toward this vital community amenity.