Thursday, September 5, 2019

[UPDATED] Rally Saturday afternoon to keep the Tompkins Square Park asphalt courts free of synthetic turf

Updated 9/6
The city has announced that it will no longer cover the court with synthetic turf!


The skateboarding community is coming together Saturday afternoon to show their support for keeping the multipurpose courts in the northwest corner of Tompkins Square Park free of synthetic turf.

As we reported on July 2, the city has plans — apparently only known to residents who may have attended a Community Board committee meeting in May — to cover the courts with synthetic turf, rendering the space useless for skateboarders and street hockey players, among other groups.

The turf project, happening at several area parks, is a result of the city's flood-protection plan that will close East River Park next March for 3.5-plus years. The city needs to find space for the sports teams and youth leagues who use the fields along East River Park.

Here's more from Adam Zhu, the East Village resident who launched the petition — titled "Save Tompkins Square asphalt!" — in early July:

For generations, Tompkins has been a safe haven for skateboarders and other marginalized activities. It serves as a melting pot for all walks of life and is an integral part of our identity as a neighborhood and community.

The city now plans to install AstroTurf there to prioritize permitted sports, which will destroy the way our community has utilized this park for decades. Please join me on Saturday, Sept. 7 at 1 p.m. in the NW corner of the Park to show the city what this park means to us!

In July, reps for the skateboarders met with the Parks Department. Both sides have reported that it was a productive meeting. However, Crystal Howard, a spokesperson for the Parks Department, told Patch last week that the proposal to turn the lot into astroturf remains. "We continue to consider the skateboarder's interests as we review the matter," she said.

You can find the petition here. As of last evening, there were over 32,000 signatures.

As Zhu recently told The New York Times: "There is something important about this specific spot, and that has to do with the history of the park at large and our personal history with the park — having grown up here, met all our friends here.

"I’m not fighting to make this a skate park," he added. “It’s a multiuse park, and it functions very well as is."

Previously on EV Grieve:
• No winners yet in Tompkins Square Park synthetic turf battle (Aug. 27)

• Petition to 'Save Tompkins Square asphalt!' closing in on 19,000 signatures (July 8)

• Skateboarders upset over plan to add synthetic turf to the northwest corner of Tompkins Square Park (July 2)


Anonymous said...

Good. I'll go to that rally. I don't need these corny, suburban mentality spreading. How about we don't fucking shut down the FDR park to raise the entire thing, unheard of. Build a wall instead. This is insane.

Anonymous said...

Massive graft and corruption being funneled through Parks...

cmarrtyy said...

Covering the asphalt with turf has nothing to do with making the park more accessible to more people or groups. It is about power. It is about conformity. The park should be like McDonalds - you know what to expect. It is about real estate. Clean up the park and developers will come. Also the Parks Dept. new rules for EV Gardens are a blatant attempt to take over the gardens to sell for development. As I said... this fight is bigger than astro turf. It's about the very soul of the EV... Will it's alternative life style survive the onslaught of conformity? It looks more doubtful everyday... We have even been betrayed by our elected officials. RUIN-THE-EV-RIVERA could stop this... but she won't. Just like she won't stop the Sanitation Dept. from parking trucks on 10th Street. We are on our own. WE HAVE TO SHOW UP!

aron pieman kay said...

No way they should rape the park

Scuba Diva said...

You know, I'll show up Saturday just because there's no way synthetic turf should cover that patch of asphalt. Basketballers play there.

I'm not fond of skateboarders, but I'll defend to the death their right to skate.

Anonymous said...

a real "Turf War".