Brooklyn's Betsy Head Park Gets Mega Makeover

Playgrounds, sports equipment, a performance and event space, athletic fields, and more make Betsy Head Park a neighborhood gem.
Playgrounds, sports equipment, a performance and event space, athletic fields, and more make Betsy Head Park a neighborhood gem.
4/2/21 - By Erin Real

Betsy Head Park is the latest NYC green space to get a multi-million dollar overhaul. Renovations have wrapped up on the $30 million Anchor Parks project and the Brownsville, Brooklyn, park, and it's welcoming visitors just in time for the springtime temps.

Read on for the details of this multi-year renovation, which brought tons of upgrades to the 10.5-acre park, including state-of-the-art athletic fields, event spaces, a large skate park, the first parkour fitness course in the city, and more amenities. Find more destination-worthy outdoor spaces in our Guide to Parks and Playgrounds for NYC Kids.


Editor's note: While we are trying to promote safer activities that occur outdoors or with social distancing guidelines in place, please keep your family and others safe by always wearing a mask and practicing social distancing.

child running in Betsy head park
There's plenty of room to roam in the newly redesigned Betsy Head Park.

The 106-year-old Betsy Head Park is one of the largest public spaces in East Brooklyn. The landscape architecture firm Abel Bainnson Butz (ABB) oversaw the park’s redesign, seeking to “create a cohesive, inclusive and multi-generational park” for the 39,000 residents who live within a half-mile radius.

ABB worked with Brooklyn Community Board 16 and other local community organizations in designing a space to meet local needs. Among the unique features is a colorful, self-competitive basketball course.

RELATED: Our Favorite Toddler Playgrounds in Brooklyn

basketball court in betsy head park
Betsy Head Park's redesign preserved some of the parks well-loved features and landscaping, while providing plenty of upgrades.

The northern side of the park houses a new event space with a small amphitheater, which can be used as an outdoor classroom for nearby schools as well as a farmers market.

The park's popular Imagination Playground was preserved to the joy of neighborhood children, while all visitors can undoubtedly appreciate the fact construction left the park's large trees untouched.

RELATED: 25 Kid-Friendly Spring Day Trips for NYC Families

skate area in betsy head park
Betsy Head's renovation added a skate park.

There are plenty of all-ages recreation opportunities here, too. A skate park, parkour course, and a traverse climbing wall provide challenges for older kids.

RELATED: NYC's Best Playgrounds: 18 Parks Worthy of a Subway Schlep

overview betsy head park turf field
Funding for the Betsy Head Park renovation is one of five project funded through the Anchor Parks initiative which prioritizes improvements in parks that are historically underfunded.

The southern side of the park, houses an Olympic-sized swimming pool, which is open seasonally. A four-lane running track, multi-use, synthetic-turf field, basketball and handball courts, the traverse wall, fitness equipment, game tables, and a new comfort station also find homes here.

In a press release ABB said, “The Mayor’s office chose this large 10.5-acre Brownsville park as part of a $150-million-dollar investment to provide transformative capital improvements to five large, regional parks across each of the five boroughs.”

Photos by Pavel Bendov courtesy of ABB and renderings courtesy of ABB

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