Marquis of Debris: McPherson Square to spruce up with 100G pledge

THE REVITALIZATION of McPherson Square Park and library, a notorious haven for blatant drug use, moved a step forward yesterday as Councilwoman Maria Quinones-Sanchez pledged $100,000 from her capital budget.

"When people take ownership of something, government responds," she told neighbors gathered in the basement of the library on F Street near Indiana Avenue, in Kensington.

"I am super-happy about this," said 33rd Ward leader Donna Aument. "We've been struggling for years because there wasn't enough police activity to chase the drugs away."

Plans to improve the park, which was the scene of a shooting homicide last week, include installing more lights, game tables, trash bins and a surveillance camera.

Upgrades in programs offered to children and families are also in the works, and organizers are working with 24th District police to beef up their presence.

"If we improve the park, I think we improve the library," said Mike DiBerardinis, deputy mayor for environmental and community resources. "We are stretched, but we have an obligation to be here - we have a deep interest in being here."

The Daily News highlighted the plan to rejuvenate the park and library in late October, when neighbors voiced concerns over a plan to plant over 100 trees there. Barbara McCabe, director of volunteerism and stewardship at Parks and Recreation, said that neighbors will be invited to speak with staff next month about what types of trees they want, how many should be planted, and where. The city won't plant trees if neighbors say they don't want them, DiBerardinis said.

Friends of McPherson Square Library and Park, a group recently established by the Friends of the Free Public Library, will meet at the library on Feb. 22 at 5 p.m.