The latest development in the quest for more dog-friendly outdoor spaces in Greenpoint is the restriction of the turf field at Newtown Barge Park (alongside Blue Slip). NYC Parks attributes their locking of the park to multiple instances of unleashed dogs on the field “both during the community time and when the field is permitted.”

Meghan Lalor of the NYC Parks press office explained, “The field at Newtown Barge Park is still being actively used by permitholders on a regular basis. Responsive to misuse of the fields, when they aren’t being actively used for permitted play, they are closed for their protection.”

The locked field at Newtown Barge Park. Photo: Emma Davey

Neighbors noticed the lock in December, which, according to the Parks department, followed targeted enforcement like signage and added patrolling in hopes of being a deterrent to unauthorized use (pets are prohibited on sports fields as per Parks regulations). According to the update, all permitholders have access to open the lock at the field — permits are granted on an application basis (the Newtown Barge Park field offers them for soccer, kickball, and softball). Prior to its restricted access, the field was open for community hours Monday through Friday from 3 to 6 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 12 noon.

NYC Parks also shared a list of nearby dog parks, though the closest public dog runs are in McCarren and McGolrick Parks. Another closer option is the Bell Slip dog run that opened this past May, which many dog owners assert is far too small and unsatisfactory for most dogs.

In November, Councilmember Lincoln Restler shared a plan for improving the district’s dog friendliness, including proposals making the Parks department responsible for dog run upkeep as well as identifying even more dog park locations (including the proposed one at Box Street Park, which so far has been in limbo due to MTA vehicles on the property for years). Read Restler’s full plan here.


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  1. Did dog lovers, back in the ’60s and ’70s when I grew up there was something called the curb your dog law which meant that your dog had to pee and poo in the street because that’s where the street sweeper came and cleaned it. Can’t we have any places that you can walk without walking through dog pee and poo. And what about the poor kids who don’t know better than to roll around in the grass and not look out for poo and pee. Enough is enough curb your dogs

  2. Who cares about the dogs? This park was created for the community to play sports, not for people to let their dogs run riot and crap everywhere. Again, selfish dog owners ruin it for the rest of us!

    1. Some of the dog owners are ruining it for the rest of us. You can’t even peacefully enjoy a sunset on the grass anymore, can’g picnic anymore, they unleash their dog, the dogs run all over your food, and poop a few inches from where you’re sitting and the owners don’t even see a problem there.

  3. such a shame for our children. Who have nowhere to play soccer afterschool now. The dogs destroy the turf– all that digging! and then every few years, our fields have to be closed for 18 months every few years for new turf!

  4. I took my son and his friends and cousins to play ball there multiple times, but we had to scout for dog poop every single time. And then there were the times when dog owners let their dogs off leash while kids were playing and I did witness kids getting scared and not wanting to play anymore..

    Dog owners’ use of the space has negatively impacted a whole lot of people. I know the closest dog run is not that near but neither is the closest ball field!

  5. I am a major supporter of this approach. The off leash dogs are out of control in this neighborhood. We live next door to the athletic field. Once we were playing badminton there and the dogs were running towards our birdie. We asked a man to please leash his dog and he got confrontational with us and basically yelled at us. My fiancé did not grow up around dogs and is uneasy around them. The parks department made the right decision for public safety. (TBH if felt like a lot of white privilege was happening). I can’t imagine this many dogs running around off leash at a park in the projects.

  6. When I first moved back to the neighborhood, I *used to* (2021) walk into this area so I could get a bit of sun without dogs running around and over me, and I regularly shamed people for waltzing in with their dogs and immediately taking their leash off so they could tear around the field and chase after kid’s toys, knocking the kids down and causing general chaos. Best decision to lock this spot up — dog owners were definitely taking advantage of it, and completely ignoring the signs outside. This, even though they have a fantastic waterway path to walk their dogs on right next door, and a grassy area just adjacent to the enclosed field for them to play on. It’s just too bad the families with young children can’t enjoy the spot any longer – they would come in for the same reason I did, so they wouldn’t have to deal with the dogs taking over the area.

  7. 100% on board with this approach, and hope they continue to enforce it. It’s so disruptive to folks trying to relax on the grass, you can’t even read a book or have a picnic anymore. I used to be able to stroll through with my leashed dog without other dogs charging over to us every 5 minutes. Not to mention it’s unsafe for not only the dog off-leash but the leashed dog that it runs up to, who may or may not be friendly. Either take your dog to a dog park or move to a place with a backyard.

  8. A one bedroom apartment overlooking this field costs $5k/month. You wonder why there are so many dogs?? Who can afford a kid! Let the dog owners do what they want so long as they pick up after themselves, they are the actual majority of users of this public space (as evidenced by these comments…).

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