FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
New facility honors former President of the Marine Park Civic Association and will offer health and fitness programming
Parks Commissioner Veronica M. White joined Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, Council Member Lew Fidler, State Senator Martin Golden, Assembly Member Alan Maisel, Assembly Member Helene Weinstein and the family of Carmine Carro to cut the ribbon on a brand new $16.3 million community center in Marine Park, Brooklyn. The event also showcased fitness classes which will be held at the center.
“The new community center in Marine Park will provide neighbors with a hub of programming and activities,” said Commissioner White. “The facility expands upon our mission to provide opportunities for fitness and recreation, as well as our commitment to building green.”
“Bravo to Parks Commissioner and Brooklynite Veronica White, to Mayor Bloomberg and to all those who helped to make the state-of-the-art Carmine Carro Community Center a reality,” said Borough President Markowitz. “This amazing facility and its new programming will become a center for active adults in the Marine Park community and will enhance the use and enjoyment of one Brooklyn’s great emerald jewels and its largest park, Marine Park. However, how sweet it is that we are also able to honor the memory of a truly great Brooklynite, Carmine Carro, who was as Brooklyn as they come, a proud product of Marine Park who dedicated so many years of his life to making Brooklyn better. ”
“I am thrilled to be cutting the ribbon on the long-awaited Carmine Carro Center and Field House in Marine Park: thrilled not only for the community but for Carmine’s family, as well,” said Council Member Lew Fidler. “This is the fulfillment of a dream for all. I was pleased to have provided the initial funding and support over the years, and I want to thank the Mayor and the Parks Department for getting this done. No matter how long the wait, no matter how much the anticipation, the field house will be a beautiful reality for the community to enjoy for decades to come.”
“The dream of Marine Park has finally come true and today is a great day that we have all waited for with much excitement,” said Senator Martin J. Golden. “I am proud to have contributed over $1 million dollars to construct this Center, and I look forward to being a frequent visitor and seeing great memories made here.”
“It was a great pleasure for me to be able to participate in the long awaited opening of the Carmine Carro Center,” said Assembly Member Maisel. “This beautiful building will be a great addition to our community and a huge benefit to the thousands of people who will use its facilities.”
“Carmine dedicated much of his life to beautifying and standing up for the best interests of the Marine Park community,” said Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein. “It is most fitting that this Center, which will provide programming to thousands of local Seniors, students and community residents year-round, bear his name. I am proud to be a sponsor.”
The project was funded with generous allocations of $13.32 million from Mayor Bloomberg, $1.38 million from Council Member Fidler, $1.1 million from Senator Golden, $500,000 from Assembly Member Maisel and $30,000 from Assembly Member Helene Weinstein.
The Center is free to the public and will be programmed by Millennium Development, a local organization which will host fitness, exercise, nutrition and healthy lifestyle classes for seniors and active adults. They will also offer cultural and art programs such as painting, photography, music, knitting and crocheting. Computer learning classes will consist of navigating the internet and instruction on the use of video chatting like Skype to communicate with out of town friends and family. Youth programs will also be hosted by Millennium, such as inter generational tutoring and mentoring, computer classes, cultural and recreational programming and youth leadership groups. Millennium Development has previously hosted similar classes at the Salt Marsh Nature Center.
The building is an example of the City’s commitment to an environmentally-friendly 21st century, and features many “green” elements including solar panels, a geo-thermal heating and cooling system, and a vegetated roof. It houses multi-purpose rooms for recreation and community programs, fully accessible bathrooms, a kitchen, skylights, administrative offices, parks operations headquarters and storage space. The project is seeking Silver LEED Certification.
Carmine Carro was born not far from what was then known as City Park (now named Commodore Barry Park), Brooklyn’s oldest park. His love of his borough’s green spaces was established there, and parks would continue to feature prominently in his life. As President of the Marine Park Civic Association for 16 years, he organized the annual Halloween Festival to entertain thousands of costumed visitors. He was Park Warden for Marine Park for five years. Mr. Carro also served as Vice Chair of Community Board 18, a member of the local school board, a trustee for the Flatlands Volunteer Ambulance, and was a founding member of the Hendrick I. Lott House Board.
Marine Park, Brooklyn’s largest park, consists of 530 acres of grassland and salt marsh, protected as a Forever Wild preserve. Among its amenities, Marine Park is home to the Salt Marsh Nature Center and the Gerritsen Creek Nature Trail to observe unique regional flora and fauna. Recreationally, the park offers a golf course, bocce courts, cricket fields, and baseball diamonds. The park also contains multiple playgrounds, bicycle greenways, and a launch and landing site for canoes and kayaks at Gerritsen inlet.