Upgrades planned for Carver Park in Black Pearl

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NORD Commission

Carver Playground, 7410 Prytania St.

Long-awaited renovations to George Washington Carver Playground, near the levee in the Black Pearl neighborhood, will soon be underway. A groundbreaking ceremony is planned for Sept. 12 at 9:30 a.m., state Rep. Aimee Adatto Freeman announced Friday (Sept. 1).

The Carver Playground and the concessions building are in line for major upgrades, according to the city’s Capital Projects Administration. The existing equipment will be replaced with an expanded playground. The new playground will feature interactive equipment and enhanced safety and accessibility.

Decorative steel fencing will be also added to the Prytania Street entrance. The restrooms and concessions building will be renovated and brought up to code standards, with new kitchen facilities to support New Orleans Recreation Development Commission programming.

The baseball field will get a makeover in the second phase of improvements. Upgrades include regrading, new turf, high mast lighting and new fencing as well as covered dugouts, backstop netting and viewing bleachers. The start of this project is pending the receipt of a recently approved fund appropriation by the state.

Sabree Hill, Uptown Messenger file photo

Theron Lewis, a teacher at Mary Bethune Elementary School and member of Mayor Landrieu’s Education Task Force, paints a fence at Carver Park during a 2011 “Fight the Blight” Volunteer Day.

Then-Rep. Neil Abramson began working on this project over 15 years ago, said Freeman, who has been continuing his efforts. In 2009, the covered basketball court at Prytania and Leak Street received some upgrades. However, it was not until this year that the necessary $777,253 in State Capital Outlay funding was secured for the rest of the park.

Much of Carver Park, 7410 Prytania, has appeared neglected over the years. In 2011, it was part of then-Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s “Fight the Blight” campaign. With paint brushes, rakes and hammers in hand, volunteers spent a Saturday in June 2011 sprucing up the facilities. The baseball field has since become an ad hoc dog park.

“I recognize that many of your dogs have played in the park, and this may be frustrating to some of you. My dogs have played there, too,” Freeman stated in an email to constituent. “Giving our New Orleans youth a safe place to play and spend time is essential to the future of our city.”

Sabree Hill, Uptown Messenger file photo

Omar Morales and Norman Harrell create third-base on the baseball field at Carver Park during the 2011 “Fight the Blight” Volunteer Day.

3 thoughts on “Upgrades planned for Carver Park in Black Pearl

  1. Carver Park has evolved into a meeting place for not only the local youth, but for the dog owning members of the community. Rep. Freeman’s refusal to acknowledge that and develop a plan that meets the newer needs of the local community rather than sticking to an outdated and unwanted plan is mistake. Rep. Freeman needs to be standing by her constituents and hearing what they actually want from their elected officials.

    • I am a resident of the neighborhood and my family (including our dog) regularly utilize Carver park, specifically to meet and socialize with other dog friendly families from the area. There is totally room to have both a sports field and a dog park!
      We previously lived in the Wisner park neighborhood and dealt with a very similar situation. Compromises will need to be made, but it is doable. The fact of the matter is there’s a sizable dog population in the neighborhood and their families use the park in solid numbers for several hours every single day—We therefore should have a say in the renovation process and a design that includes our needs too.

  2. Is there any way to carve out a space at one end so that the dog community could continue to use this resource too? I wonder also whether there are nord teams waiting to play, or is this a “build it and they will come” project?

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