Gowanus Lounge: Serving Brooklyn

LICH’s Cruddy Playground Still High on the GL Crap-O-Meter

October 20th, 2008 · 3 Comments

The GL tipster who originally sent us photos of the rather crappy conditions at the Long Island College Hospital Playground on Henry Street (yes, we understand LICH has far bigger issues than the playground, but exposing kids to hazardous conditions is a significant community issue), emailed to acknowledge that “the numerous broken items have now been fixed.” So, that’s the good news. (To report a specific problem, email LICHParks@chpnet.org. They will respond.) However, there’s still plenty of bad news to report to the LICH execs who are supposed to be make sure this is a recreational area for children rather than a threat to their well-being. (The pic above shows the horrifying image of very sharp and rusty screws under equipment that is used by toddlers.) Here we go:

Despite the items having been fixed (there is still one item that poses a risk to kids; see the photo of the dangerous exposed screws in the toddler-infant area), the park still seems to be not right. At this point, it is not an issue of broken items, but simply of the park appearing dingy and worn….park equipment has peeling paint, dirt, missing mat plugs that create tripping and choking hazards. The result is a park that is both risky and is neither fresh nor welcoming. Respectfully, I daresay that none of the LICH Board members would allow such conditions to occur in their home or day care, but yet it remains (and has remained). As for the peeling paint, I wonder what level of lead or other contaminants are the kids exposed to if there is dust or paint chips being ingested by accident. Kids are known to lick things and put things in their mouth, from paint chips to paint dust.

Particularly bad is inside some of the equipment, in the areas where the kids climb and play and are not readily visible to adults. While I recognize that these items remain outside and exposed to the elements, but so does the equipment in children’s parks maintained by the NYC Parks Department, which get a fresh coat of pain and new equipment when appropriate and necessary. My complaint is that LICH appears to do the minimum for this park. Had it done more, my prior photos and email wouldn’t have been necessary because LICH would have inspected and maintained the park on its own as the broken equipment was readily obvious. So too with these photos showing the dingy nature of the park. If LICH created the park simply because of its own kindness, I might have understood. But LICH created this park as part of a contractual obligation in order to get the park land under which the large parking garage now stands. LICH gets significant revenues from that parking garage (and I believe owns the land), which means that there is a significant revenue stream to provide for new equipment and for regular and careful upkeep of the park.

Tags: Cobble Hill

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jason // Oct 21, 2008 at 1:39 am

    The bigger issue with the photo showing 4 rusty screws is that there once was a piece of metal in the hole to prevent a toddler from getting a foot stuck in the hole as they climb up the steps.

    Now the empty hole can trip a child. You can see other holes cut out with the metal grate on other playground equipment nearby.

    LICH has never made the playground a priority and dingy is the least of it. It is often disgusting with the overflowing garbage and mud under the rubber mats. None of the equipment used there would be installed a new playground in NY City today.

  • 2 CHLocalMom // Oct 21, 2008 at 9:05 am

    At least with the LICH Pediatric ER, I could take my kids injured in their park around the block into the hospital. What will I do when they close that? If LICH won’t commit to its own staff (or the neighborhood, for that matter), then they won’t give another thought to the playground. Recommendation: enjoy it while we still can, it’ll belong to the new condo development before long….

  • 3 anon // Oct 28, 2008 at 11:07 am

    Has LICH responded to this yet?