The Villager: With East River Park set to close for three-and-a-half years as part of the East Side Coastal Resiliency flood-protection project, the Parks Department will be renovating and adding green space to other nearby parks.

These planned changes, however, have been causing problems for some users of those other parks. Skateboarders in Tompkins Square Park, for example, have been fighting to keep their pavement, which Parks has proposed covering with artificial turf for youth sports leagues displaced from East River Park.

Ball-hockey players in Tanahey Playground, in the Two Bridges district, are also being affected by plans to install artificial turf there. This project similarly will accommodate displaced youth leagues. But it will be the end of Moffo Rink, which has been there since 1975 and hosts league and pickup hockey games.

The rink is 150 feet long by 85 feet wide, with 4-foot-high boards and hockey lines marked on the pavement. It has hosted games by local leagues Mofo Hockey and Blacktop Street Hockey.

Tanahey Playground is located between Cherry and Water Sts., and Catherine Slip and Market Slip. The Parks plan is to install a synthetic turf soccer field, replacing the hockey rink and a basketball court. Two other basketball courts in the park will stay and be resurfaced and also remain open for other activities like tai chi.

In addition, the park’s seating areas and dog run will be improved, more plantings and better lighting will be added, and the park will get a new paint job.

Some negotiations and work have been required to find a new space for the hockey players who will be displaced. Parks has been in touch with a group of hockey players who use the rink, according to a Parks Department spokesperson. She noted that Parks presented its plan publicly at community board meetings and open houses, and met with the hockey group in late June. Read more>>