Last Saturday, Kingsland Wildflowers (250 Kingsland Avenue) held its second annual Festival, an afternoon of food, drinks, music, family activities, bird watching, face painting, flowers and green roof tours, all free and open to the public. Local conservation groups including the GCEF, Newtown Creek Alliance and Open Space Alliance, shared information outside the Broadway Stages building that hosts Kingsland Wildflowers’ glorious green roofs, and up on the rooftops kids and adults gathered to enjoy the green space, and donned binoculars to enjoy the fabulous flora and excellent views.
Kingsland Wildflowers is a GCEF-funded project to “provide Greenpoint with living and growing infrastructure to support native New York City wildlife and educational programming focused on sustainable conservation practices and wildlife protection.” The initiative is the brainchild of Greenpoint-based landscape designer Marni Majorelle of Alive Structures, in collaboration with Kathryn Heintz of New York City Audubon, Tony Argento of Broadway Stages, and the conservationists at Newtown Creek Alliance.
Last year, Kingsland Wildflowers hosted its first Festival to mark the public inauguration of its green roof, and public engagement has been part of the project’s goal since it started. Heintz explains that during the grant writing process, all of the partners coming together to make Kingsland Wildflowers possible knew that “the idea of GCEF is to have green infrastructure that engages the community,” through programming. And a festival once a year, to “do something big, where we bring people to see what we’ve created, and we let them get up on the roof, and try to figure out how we can have food and drink and all kinds of activities, is the manifestation of that idea.”
Both programming and planting at Kingsland Wildflowers has grown since last year. At this year’s festival, 3 levels of roof and community space were open to the public, with plans for even more to come. Heintz says that Kingsland Wildflowers has already proposed to complete the lower roof of the building and one of the side roofs, if additional funding from GCEF is available.
If you’re excited to get on the roof, Kingsland Wildflowers has exciting programs coming up soon. This Saturday, September 30th from 3-5, at the first Fall Artist Lecture of the season, Greenpoint artist Martynka Wawrzyniak will discuss her public art project Ziemia, which will find its home in McGolrick Park, and Greenpoint Historian Geoff Cobb (a regular Greenpointers contributor) will lead a walking tour from Kingsland Wildflowers’ green roof to the park.
Other upcoming events include Annie Novak’s Illustrations on Birds, and the launch of “Secret Brooklyn: An Unusual Guide” hosted by Atlas Obscura. For more upcoming events, check out Kingsland Wildflowers’ full calendar here.