By Dispatch Editors on Monday, December 18th, 2023 at 12:05 pm
A new website launched last month reviewing playgrounds across the city. North Brooklyn is at the center of the site.
The site launched in November with reviews of more than 50 playgrounds across Brooklyn, with more on the way. Playgrounds across the city are also represented as are those in the Hudson Valley and elsewhere.
The site was created by local parents Annmarie Pisano and Ian MacAllen after visiting dozens of playgrounds with their toddler and finding a big discrepancy between the quality of equipment and the features available. (MacAllen is also the founder of this site).
Details on each playground include things like whether there are slides or ladders or fireman’s poles. The playgrounds can be sorted by features or searched.
Both Pisano and MacAllen contribute longer form reviews, but each playground is given a rating of one to five stars.
There is also helpfully a rat-o-meter. The Rat-o-meter is used to assess the number of rats in the parks. “We nicknamed Ten Eyck park ‘rat park’ because there are so many rats there. That’s where the rat-o-meter comes from,” MacAllen says.
Ten Eyck park scores a five under their system, meaning they have seen rats there before.
The park’s rat problems are set to get a lot worse as Mayor Eric Adams plans to reduce maintenance of the parks from five times per week to once a week. After mismanaging the budget, Adams launched broad cuts that includes reducing park staff. The rats will get worse.
While many playgrounds score well, the site is critical of some of the newer ones like Sgt. William Dougherty Playground. The new playground cost millions to build as part of the Kosciuszko Bridge replacement. Situated next to the highway, Playground Papa, MacAllen’s nom de plume, calls the park an “asthma-inducing hell-hole,” and concluding, “We’ll probably never be coming back here.”
In addition to reviews, the site includes photo galleries to help parents judge for themselves.
Brooklyn Playgrounds hopes to eventually review every playground in Brooklyn and many in the other boroughs. North Brooklyn is well represented on the site, though, with nearly every playground in Greenpoint, Williamsburg, and East Williamsburg on the site’s map.
Brooklyn Playgrounds is regularly updated with new reviews.