It was the start of what is hoped to be an annual tradition in Brooklyn -- a neighborhood summer picnic

RITA A. LEONARD - Here are a few of the many picnickers at the Brooklyn Park community gathering on August 11. In the center of this group were BAC Board Members Melaney Dittler and Cheryl Crowe. The summer picnic may become an annual event in the Brooklyn neighborhood. On Thursday evening, August 11, Brooklyn Park was the scene of a somewhat early end-of-summer community picnic — summer doesn't actually give way to autumn this year until September 23rd — but, for those looking to celebrate outdoors, the evening couldn't have been better.

The community gathering was sponsored by the Brooklyn Action Corps neighborhood association — intended as an occasion for neighborhood fellowship, games, and music.

Picnickers had been invited to "bring a blanket, bring a friend, bring your own food, and celebrate with us." During the 5:30-8:30 p.m. event, friends and neighbors gathered in a shady area at the foot of the Brooklyn Park hill, while kids participated in summer park activities at the above them at the top of the rise, supervised by longtime Park Director Craig Montag.

BAC Board Members Melaney Dittler and Cheryl Crowe greeted attendees as neighbors of all ages, some with pets, came to the park on foot and by bike, and then set about establishing their own spaces, getting caught up on community news, meeting new friends, and enjoying a pleasant summer evening.

Montag had recently made a slight change in the hours of the summer park program — which had been from noon until 8 p.m. four days a week — to 1 to 9 p.m., giving kids a bit more time to participate in activities there. The program, no longer funded by PP&R, has been maintained and supported by the Brooklyn neighborhood with a very successful can-and-bottle-return program, plus occasional other fundraisers.

Montag and a host of youthful helpers set up and take down the summertime equipment and supplies, including an occasional hot-day "slip-and-slide" down Brooklyn Park's hillside. The community picnic appeared to be much enjoyed, and it looks likely to become an annual part of summertime in Brooklyn.

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