Domino Park: Sweet Fun & Local Hires

A9R111AIf the seasonal weather isn’t excuse enough to be out-doors, Domino Park just upped the ante. This (roughly) quarter mile stretch from Grand to South 5th along the Williamsburg edge of the East River officially opened to the public on June 10th. The opening day celebration attracted 10,000 people, who enjoyed yoga, volleyball games, live music, great food, and more.

This park offers an elevated walkway, dog run, grass and sandy playfields, two bocce courts, fountains, a fog ridge, tiered and lounge seating, and a children’s playground inspired by the sugar refining process — will the tubular slides result in sweeter demeanors or a sugar rush? The designer, James Corner Field Operations, whose local projects include the High Line and South Street Seaport, aimed again to weave tangible history of place into this public space. Steel beams and wood culled from the old refnery utilized throughout the park, and syrup tanks are focal points.

For your picnicking convenience, Tacocina a taco stand via Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group serves up lunch and dinner. For the greenthumb enthusiasts, this space includes nearly 175 plant species, and for the hurricane wary: the park sits above post-Sandy FEMA food elevations.

The fountain has eighty-eight individually- programmable water jets and lights, Photo Credit: Alex Staniloff

Another sweet point about Domino Park and its adjoined housing develop-ment is the partnership its developer, Two Trees Management, has with St. Nicks Alliance Workforce Development. Thus far, Domino Park has hired eleven job seekers who received training and guidance from Workforce Development. Visits to St. Nicks Alliance training sites, an alumni event, and the Urban Greenscaping graduation gave Two Trees Management and its hiring partners Block by Block and Union Square Hospitality, the opportunity to meet with and interview potential hires. Three of the eleven hires were selected from the May class of Greenscaping graduates.

“We are proud to partner with St. Nicks Alliance on local workforce development and hiring as part of the reimagination of the Domino Sugar Factory site,” said Two Trees managing director Dave Lombino. “From bringing in small businesses to local hiring, supporting the immediate community is one of Two Trees’ top objectives as part of the Domino Sugar Factory redevelopment. We’re confident that St. Nicks Alliance graduates will have a lasting, positive impact across this historic swath of Brooklyn.”

“The Two Trees Management and Domino Park collaboration with St Nicks Alliance Workforce Development Center is an example of a truly successful community partner-ship. Together, Two Trees and Domino Park staff educated our Greenscaping graduates about urban garden design and even attended the graduation. Two Trees Management collaborated with our Workforce Center to ensure that both park and food service jobs were available to the members of the North Brooklyn Community and full day recruitment events have been held at our Workforce Center and will continue as needed. As part of the local hiring process Block by Block and Union Square Hospitality were introduced and encouraged to hire through St. Nicks Alliance Workforce training and employment local north Brooklyn candidates,” said Larry Rothchild, Director of St. Nicks Alliance Workforce Development.

Two of the Domino Park hires from St. Nicks Alliance Workforce Development. (l to r) Greenscaping grad Adelin Rodriguez and First Job participant Christian Olivo

“They’ve offered me the chance for a new opportunity and it is a great one. I was aiming for growth in knowledge and they’ve delivered. My goal is to become a great horticulturist, in turn, save the world,” said urban greenscaping grad and Domino Park hire, Veronica Hernandez.

Graduate and Domino Park hire, Zaya Brown said, “It was interesting to be able to learn how to perfectly adjust and adapt a certain space to a specific client’s desire. I am truly grateful to those at St. Nicks Alliance. Now I have the chance to use my newly earned skills and my love for nature to help the world grow.”

Five of the eleven hires will be working at Tacocina, run by Union Square Hospitality. Also Two Trees has hired thirty-six of St. Nicks Alliance’s Skilled Build graduates as part of the crew building its housing units at the Domino Sugar Factory redevelopment. Skilled Build offers its students construction training and certifications in flagger, scaffolding, OSHA 30, and F60. A new construction training class will begin accepting students on Wednesday, June 27, 2018 for classes that start on August 20, 2018. Prospective program participants should ex-pect to stay for up to 3 hours to gather information and take TABE test.

“Our partnership with Two Trees illustrates how a real community agreement to hire local residents at a redevelopment site can have significant impact on members of the community,” said Michael Rochford, Executive Director of St. Nicks Alliance.

Domino Park is five acres of public park space from South 5th to Grand Street along the Williamsburg side of the East River on the site of the former Domino Sugar refinery. It is open to the public 7 days a week from 6 a.m. to 1 a.m. for more information:

St. Nicks Alliance Workforce Development Center is located on the 2nd floor of 790 Broadway, Brooklyn. For general information call: 718.302.2057. For information on Skills Training call Seekqumarie Kellman, Prog. Mgr, 718.302.2057 Ext. 412

A sugar refining inspired children’s playground, Photo Credit: Alex Staniloff

Author: Lori Ann Doyon

Managing editor, head writer, and lead photographer of Greenline | North Brooklyn News since October 2014. Resident of Williamsburg, Brooklyn since 1990.

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