On August 15th, about a dozen kids from the Renaissance Youth Center woke up “extra early” to give their local park a colorful coat of paint and beautify the neighborhood. Just five days later, the Parks Department arrived and painted over the salmon color with the only city-approved hue — institutional grey.

Cynthia Bailey, grandmother of three children that helped that day, tells DNAinfo that “they were so excited” about helping out their community. Then, they found out that the park was repainted. “They saw it and they started crying… they wanted to know who did this.”

The man responsible is Eduardo Hernandez, Administrative Parks and Recreation Manager for the district that includes Unity Park. His office issued the permits for the park to be painted but he acknowledges that they did not inform Renaissance of the specific color required for all parks in the city.

The youth center spent nearly $2,000 on the project in the hope that the park would be used for more than just “walking dogs and dealing drugs.”

Maybe NYC should rethink their restrictive policies. Even the coldest and most polluted city in Russia recognizes the psychological benefits a little color can give to an urban environment. (Photo: Renaissance Youth Center)