FORT GREENE — Local business owner Tom Wentworth is on a mission to transform what he calls the "unloved concrete slab" at Commodore Barry Park into a soccer destination.
Some neighbors are petitioning the Parks Department to put turf over the "Dust Bowl" in Fort Greene Park for soccer players, but Wentworth thinks that Commodore Barry is the neighborhood's best shot at getting its first official soccer field.
"There is so much to love about Commodore Barry Park, and recent improvements are proof that the Parks Department wants it to be a community destination," he wrote on his blog, Fort Greene Soccer. "Turfing the concrete lot just seems like the perfect finishing touch to the park’s facelift, and would solve a critical lack of local fields available for wildly popular local sports like soccer and football."
Wentworth said that because Fort Greene Park is a landmarked park, "astro-turfing a central lawn in an historically preserved Olmsted and Vaux designed park would be next to impossible."
He also argues that unlike Fort Greene Park, Commodore Barry Park has plenty of shaded seating for soccer fans, nearby public restrooms, a network of local bike paths, and would be a great location to host food trucks.
"I am trying to give the community an alternative to the Dust Bowl," he said.
Wentworth recently started a poll on his blog to gauge community response to his plan and added that so far he has only received positive feedback.
After reaching out to the Parks Department, he was invited to speak with Brooklyn Borough Commissioner Kevin Jeffrey on Tuesday, May 28.
"The Parks Department is curious to know more," he said.