Greenpointers recently received a tip about the field at Sternberg Park being locked down. We reached out to the NYC Parks Department to find out more and received this response:

“As a last resort and after multiple attempts by Parks Enforcement Patrol to keep the Sternberg Park ballfield free of dog waste, NYC Parks has deployed combination locks around the ballfield to limit access to permitted users only,” said Chris Clark of the City’s Parks Department. 

“Ballfield users with a permit are able to unlock the locks and access the field as usual, and permits remain accessible through the typical process (subject to availability). The playground and comfort station are unaffected by this and remain open at their regular hours.”

Unfortunately, this seems to be a developing trend in North Brooklyn. Last week, we ran a PSA asking folks to keep themselves and their dogs off the Transmitter Park lawn, as it currently needs to rest. Late last year, the Parks Department locked the field at Newtown Barge Park, citing issues with unleashed dogs. 

The locked field at Greenpoint’s Newtown Barge Park, which the Parks Department locked last December. Photo: Emma Davey

If you scroll through Nextdoor or local Facebook groups, it’s clear that the tension between dog owners and non-dog owners has reached a boiling point. Our elected officials have even picked up on this — City Council Member Lincoln Restler recently released a comprehensive plan to add more dog-friendly infrastructure in District 33. However, Sternberg Park is in neighboring District 34, served by Jennifer Gutiérrez. We reached out to CM Gutiérrez’s office for comment, and were told they have contacted the Parks Department.


North Brooklyn certainly has a long way to go before being fully accessible to our furry friends, but please, if you’re a local dog owner, at least pick up after your dog. 

Join the Conversation


  1. The park is paid for by dog owner taxes too wtf. Give dog owners tax credit if they can’t use the park and leave the park open and approach the community to help maintain the park. ThiS is not rocket science.

    1. Dogs aren’t allowed on fields because they cause damage to them. It’s not fair to people who use the field to have to deal with dog poop and damage to the turf. Walk your dog in other sections of the park, allow the dog off leash in a designated dog run. Turf fields designed for sports are NOT the place for dogs to be running around and it’s because of irresponsible dog owners that this new rule exists.

    2. You know thats a great idea let the community maintain it. Let them buy expensive riding mowers and all tools to reseed the lawn. That way they can get a firsthand view of how privilege the public is and how little they respect the rules of public parks

  2. Andy nobody said dogs on the field I stated you dont lock up assets cuz your are clutching your chest over waste that can be managed.
    Secondly the law is the law – parks are open til 10pm you dont lock down public assets because your publicly funded employees dont want to do their jobs.
    This is public malfeasance. Parks are funded and operated and regulated just follow the gd rules.
    If there is an issue invite the users to solve it locking up assets is crap bs and not what tax payers are paying for, dont patronize the communty you are not somebody’s parent and who the heck are you to tell the whole community this is a rule live by it- foad

    1. Volo, the reason the field is restricted to permitholders is because of the dog situation. It has gotten totally out of control and is not about Parks Department staff not doing their jobs or “Russian elites,” wherever that comment came from. Irresponsible dog owners ruined this for the entire community. Place the blame where it’s due. Many community members support this decision.

  3. Wrong on so many counts quite silly for you to adopt patronizing ways. The lock it up only benefit a few at the expense of the many. So what their expensive sports shoes would have to be cleaned. So to protect their under armor you kick out the community. Democracy in action. Just lock up the public asset the public paid for and let a select few use it nice going comrade, Russian elites own the parks too must be nice to be on the inside.
    Seriously a parks dept cannot unilaterally kick out a community to save a turf field for used by tiny fragment then justify the masses are unclean and unworthy holy moly feudalism in Brooklyn what bs.
    Please open your closed positions to see the bigger community either that or just buy the field problem solved

  4. Honestly, I’m a dog lover myself and I understand the frustration, but when people are sitting on the grass and enjoying the sunset, and your dog is unleashed and running all over their food and taking a sh*t a few inches from where people are sitting and eating is disgusting. Your dog and their poops maybe cute to you, but not to others. And then when you don’t clean after them, the entire field becomes dog yard covered with dog poops where people without dogs can no longer enjoy. That problem we have seen at the transmitter park, newton and Greenpoint park, and all those fields were fenced for some period of time. SOME Dog owners are ruining it for the rest of us. Clean after yourself, and keep your dog on leash where people are picnicking if you can’t keep your dog close to yourself.

  5. I get it, I really do – but Sternberg (formerly and better known as Lindsay) park gets absolutely destroyed by people too. I live around the corner and it’s truly disgusting how gross the park and entire block looks like after an amateur baseball/softball game. I really don’t understand why people feel entitled to haul their coolers full of food and booze to just leave them all over the park. I’ve been in the neighborhood for 20+ years and it’s really sad to say how little progress has been made about the trash issue at this park.

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