Yesterday, on the morning of April 18, North Brooklyn residents received a welcome surprise when the fences surrounding the portion of Bushwick Inlet Park at 50 Kent Avenue were removed. There was no fanfare or ribbon cutting ceremony. Instead, the fences were quietly taken down, and for the first time, neighbors were allowed to explore the new grassy area.

“That’s the way we found out,” said Katherine Thompson, a committee member and co-leader of Friends of Bushwick Inlet Park, a volunteer organization dedicated to realizing, protecting and serving the park. Thompson explained that the NYC Parks Department does not always provide an exact date of completion because they don’t want neighbors to be disappointed if construction is not completed by that day.

Thus, the steering committee of Friends of Bushwick Inlet Park did not even know the fences were coming down before the rest of us. “When I heard, I ran down there immediately, and they were still in the midst of taking down the fence,” laughed Thompson. “Now, the fence is gone and it’s open to everyone.”

One entrance to the 50 Kent parcel of Bushwick Inlet Park, featuring a water fountain, benches, and skyline views.

This new section is currently being referred to as the 50 Kent parcel of Bushwick Inlet Park, one of five different areas acquired over the years. It is located close to the East River in North Williamsburg on the border of Greenpoint, just north of Martha P. Johnson State Park, which is not part of Bushwick Inlet Park as it is owned and operated by New York State, while Bushwick Inlet Park is owned by the city and operated by the NYC Parks Department.

A coyote statue protecting the lush grass at 50 Kent.

The first noticeable feature of the 50 Kent parcel is a hill dominating the center of the area with stairs leading to the top. Atop the hill and in the surrounding park area are remarkable views of the Manhattan skyline. The park also features very thick, lush, green grass and a few unique coyote statues meant to keep it this way. 

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The water feature at 50 Kent.

Walking past the hill toward the river, park-goers will find a water feature, perfect for cooling off during the summer months. Park-goers can relax on one of many benches or yellow lounge chairs dotted throughout the area. Water fountains and bike racks are also located in the park. Plus, dogs are allowed on leashes.

Unfortunately, there will be little shade in the park this summer. The plants and trees in this 50 Kent parcel were planted last fall. “I’m excited to see them take root and fill in gaps,” says Thompson. 

The hill at 50 Kent with a view of the city storage building behind it.

To the south of the 50 Kent parcel is the CitiStorage building, obstructing part of the river and skyline view. The NYC Parks Department hopes to work with other city agencies to deconstruct the building, allowing the entirety of Bushwick Inlet Park to be integrated. Last December, former Mayor DiBlasio dedicated $75 million toward building the remainder of Bushwick Inlet Park, and part of that money is earmarked for the removal of the building. “Once they get that building down, you’ll be able to see the whole park,” said Thompson excitedly.

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