City parks ranked among best in the world

The pool at McCarren Park in Williamsburg will reopen on June 28 after being renovated.

New York City made the top 10 in an international list of the best cities for parks, compiled by travel guide Frommer’s. And the city’s parks just might get better this summer.

New York joined Barcelona, Melbourne and London, deemed Frommer’s, which gave a special nod to iconic Central Park.

“Central Park is the city’s best known patch of green,” the travel guide writes. Frommer’s also noted scenic Fort Tryon Park in upper Manhattan and Gramercy Park, which requires a key to enter. Prospect Park gets a shout-out, as does neighboring Brooklyn Botanic Garden. In the Bronx, the guide suggests visiting Pelham Bay Park.

And, in good news for New Yorkers, there will be several new additions to the city’s beloved parks this summer: Williamsburg’s McCarren Park pool will reopen on June 28 after 28 years and $50 million in renovations.

The new pool will accommodate 1,500 swimmers. The pool has been the setting of summer concerts since 2005 and is being built into a year-round recreation center, which, in addition the pool, will include a snack shop and a rooftop cafe.

After canceling concerts last year, the New York Philharmonic’s “Concerts in the Parks”?series will also return this summer.

The beloved free, outdoor concerts will be held in a park in each borough during the month of July.

Other new scenery will include Rockaway Park in Queens. That park will feature a new lawn and enhanced coastal dunes, with more trees planted nearby. The Parks Department hopes to have most of the work done this summer, when they estimate it will be 77 percent finished.

But you don’t have to wait  for another season of park adventures.

Last week’s warm weather means some cherry blossoms have already bloomed at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. 

And next week, the High Line will expand its hours for the spring, opening from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. instead of closing at 7 p.m.

If you have to work, just bring your laptop — the city will add Wi-Fi to six new parks this year, from the High Line to Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens.

Create your own patch of green

Get your own green on this weekend. The Parks Department will host a GreenThumb Grow Together conference Saturday.

GreenThumb, which supports community gardens in the city, is the nation’s largest urban gardening program.

More than 1,000 gardeners will meet in the Bronx and learn everything from urban beekeeping to the herbal use of common weeds.

An estimated 600 community gardens are supported by the program.

Follow Alison Bowen on Twitter @AlisonatMetro


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