Award: Constituent Spotlight, January 2012
Philip Hawkins is a long-time resident of North Crown Heights and president of The Block at Prospect Place. He is best known as the President of The Friends of Brower Park.
Brower Park is located adjacent to the Brooklyn Children's Museum. A few years ago, Brower Park began to exhibit signs of neglect and Mr. Hawkins sought to form a group of volunteers to clean up the park, which at that time was filled with trash.
In 2009, Hawkins and other neighborhood residents formed The Friends of Brower Park with the mission to ensure that the park would be a clean and safe environment for the residents of North Crown Heights.
In conjunction with The New York City Parks Department, The Friends of Brower Park hosted “It’s My Park Day,” and neighborhood volunteers turned out in record numbers to paint the wall and entrances to the park as well as plant shrubs and annuals to create a flourishing garden.
In December of 2010, The Friends of Brower Park organized their first annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, choosing an evergreen at the Prospect Place entrance for the celebration. Hundreds of residents and supporters, including Senator Eric Adams, Parks Commissioner Kevin Jeffrey, District Leader Jesse Hamilton, and President/CEO of the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, Georgina Ngozi, attended the ceremony and carolers from the Brooklyn Children’s Museum sang while participants lit candles and sipped on hot chocolate.
Within two years under Mr. Hawkins’ leadership, The Friends of Brower Park has accomplished much, including weekly park cleanups, the planting of 3,000 bulbs, movie nights out and a soccer clinic. They have also collaborated with Culture Skateboards and Senator Eric Adams to install a skate park.
Today, Brower Park is an oasis in North Crown Heights where families can picnics on the lawn and walk along paths lined with trees and flowers, and children can play in a safe and healthy environment.