String of Vandalism Incidents Hit McGolrick Park

by Ryan Watson on

As many in the neighborhood recall, earlier this year the USS Monitor statue in McGolrick Park was vandalized by a coat of white paint. The Parks Department and local elected officials acted swiftly to resolve the situation and bring the park back to its normal condition. At the time it seemed like an isolated incident by teenage vandals. However, in the past few weeks McGolrick Park has been the scene of a series of particularly troubling episodes of vandalism: equipment thefts, the destruction of park benches, a fire which knocked out the park’s electricity and even reports of a knife being held to a dog’s throat.

The question now for us to address as a community is: What should we do about it? Do we demand more police presence? Should the 94th Precinct institute regular patrols of the park? Would an early park closure help curtail further incidents of vandalism? Or are these incidents related to a symptom of the larger problem of decreased park funding?

Photo Courtesy of DNA Info. Vandalized benches in McGolrick Park.

Holly Fairall, organizer for Friends of McGolrick Park stated on the group’s Facebook page that Council Member Stephen Levin is “graciously willing to find money for a high-tech camera system for the park, but would like to gauge how the community feels about this.” Last night, the NY Daily News reported that the 94th Precinct has agreed to station a cruiser at the park, which should hopefully help stem the flow of vandalism in our beloved park.

What method do you think would the best solution? Prevention or enforcement? Should we spend hundreds of thousands of dollars of city funding to install security systems in the park? Are there other solutions about how to prevent more incidents like this from occuring? What about allocating that funding toward a more holistic solution? Can we bring back funding toward a full-time gardener in the park who can engage with local youth? Would more opportunties for summer youth programming

Weigh-in on what you think the best solution is by submitting a comment below. We can use these comments to exhibit what the neighborhood show elected officials just what the community thinks is the best solution.

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Ryan Watson

Ryan Watson

Originally from Los Angeles, Ryan is a relatively new but very proud resident of Greenpoint. He was drawn to Greenpoint by the strong sense of community and history of local activism. Ryan can be found at North Brooklyn Farms, the urban farm at the Domino Sugar Factory, which he co-founded or working in the 61 Franklin Street Community Garden.
  • Jess commented:

    At the very least there should be lightbulbs in the sockets in the roof of the pavilion. It’s far too dark under there. It seems like a simple first step. (Also, if they do install cameras they’ll certainly be more useful if they aren’t filming in the dark.)

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  • Jack Sachs commented:

    Lighting the park should be the highest priority. It makes the park more easily usable. I think a surveillance system that suggests a potential watching eye would not be as powerful as the community being present. Light the park properly, and make it easier for the community to enjoy its beautiful park until close. When the park isn’t open, let’s the NYPD stop by when it can. It’s not just the teens that can be menacing.

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  • Catherine Palladino commented:

    ABSOLUTELY and Yes security cameras should be installed. I can’t believe the subject is open for discussion. There should be better lighting, security cameras should be installed and a 94 cruiser should be stationed at the park 24/7.
    Park safety should be the number one concern and should have been addressed years ago. Do you want McGolrick Park to end up like Cherry Street Park. Use Cherry Street Park as the gauge, security cameras were never installed and now the community has one less park. Tell Council Member, Stephen Levin, thank you for the funding now stop stalling with the “public survey” and take action. Any monies used to secure and preserve the future of McGolrick Park is an investment in the future of the Park. Take action!

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  • Catherine commented:

    No offense but discussing the reinstatement of a full-time gardner before the park is secure is like putting the cart before the horse. Very impractical!

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