Like a great many things in New York City, Amersfort Park reflects the area's history of Dutch settlement. This pleasant, quiet green space – quiet, that is, except when gangs of Crips gather – carries on the old name of today's Flatlands neighborhood: New Amersfort.
Amersfoort, Holland is known for a weird story about a boulder dragged to the city because of a bet in 1661. Brooklyn's Amersfort Park contains a replica of that very boulder.
The inscription reads: "THE NEW AMERSFORT ROCK. This park is named after the city of Amersfoort in The Netherlands, the homeland of the Dutch settlers who colonized and farmed this area of Brooklyn in the 1620s. The New Amersfort Rock is a replica of the 200,000-year-old rock that proudly stands in the city of Amersfoort. This rock has become a symbol of the city of Amersfoort and links the Dutch and Brooklyn communities together."
Pretty unsatisfying as explanations go, with no mention of that possibly embarrassing legend.
Looked after by the Friends of Amersfort Park as well as by the Parks Department, the three-and-a-half-acre park has a pleasantly rolling grassy field and some nice landscaping, with views of the area's Victorian houses. As one frequenter noted soporifically via Foursquare a few years ago, "You can sleep under a tree."
Another, though, wrote, "The park is nice, but does not seem safe when the sun is going down. There's a group of shady loss smoking s little something something!" (I'm not sure what "loss" is a mistype for, but you get the idea.) Maybe to counter that impression, the park hosts a movie series in the summer, where you can get some wholesome entertainment to go with your "something something." Friends of Amersfort Park doesn't let things lie fallow in the winter: their Peace in the Park winter celebration in 2014 featured "a holiday tree lighting, Menorah and Kinara lighting, and performances by the PS 119 Children’s Choir and East Flatbush Village Dancers and Step team."
The park has one notable icon besides its boulder: the Amersfort Park Memorial Fountain, one of Brooklyn's very few public fountains. A mention in the City Record from 1919 is the only reference to the fountain's history that I could find on an online search. If anyone knows more about this handsome fountain, please leave a comment!