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Waterfront Dog Run, 100 Trees and School Upgrades Win Brooklyn Budget Vote

WILLIAMSBURG — The results are in, and the people have spoken — for canines, kids and the beautification of Brooklyn.

East River State Park's proposed waterfront dog run, 100 new trees and renovations at three public schools won funding in District 33's first-ever participatory budgeting vote, Council Member Stephen Levin announced Tuesday night. The five public-chosen projects will receive slightly more than $1 million in capital funds, his staff said.

The idea for the gated dog run — which won the third highest number of votes and will include separate sections for large and small breeds, artificial turf and shade structures — came about after a fervent push by puppy advocates to carve out a spot in North Brooklyn's meager park space. And it follows this winter's "turf wars" between parents and pet owners at Greenpoint's Transmitter Park, along with residents' lamentations that their dogs were stuck in congested play spaces.

"There's so little green space and the population has exploded in such a way that we have so many groups competing for these very scarce resources. We thought this was an amazing opportunity to put a dog run in," advocate Alexandra Broenniman said previously of the run in the northeast corner of East River State Park.

Meanwhile, the most popular pick of the 16 projects proposed was district-wide tree planting by the city's Parks Department in "targeted locations...with few or no trees," as the ballot noted. 

Funds will also go to playground renovations at Greenpoint's historic P.S. 34, Brooklyn's oldest public elementary school that has struggled with a lack of space, the principal said earlier this year. 

Meanwhile, Williamsburg's P.S. 31. and Downtown Brooklyn's M.S. 8 will both see a technology boost, with added laptops and other equipment.