A New Vision for Newtown Creek

Just one of 85 projects in NCA’s new Long Term Vision Plan for Newtown Creek

Warm weather brings many of us out to Greenpoint’s greenest spots for a bit of sunworshiping, but for the community organization Newtown Creek Alliance, greening Greenpoint through ecological stewardship is an everyday business. NCA’s focus is not only on making Greenpoint’s most infamous/beloved creek as green as can be today, but also on looking forward to the green future in North Brooklyn. To make the most of that green future, NCA partnered with the advocacy group River Keeper to produce a Long Term Vision Plan for Newtown Creek that sees the Creek not as a polluted border between Brooklyn and Queens, but instead as “1,000 acres of opportunity,” and a 3.8 mile community asset. 

The Vision plan seeks to “usher in a Newtown Creek for the 21st century; robust, resilient, and as teaming with life as the City that surrounds it.” To do that, the plan will build on the city’s investment in superfund and pollution management at the creek, as well as on the redevelopment of lands  surrounding the creek, to create a cohesive roadmap for the creek’s remediation.

The roadmap is based on community input from residents and stakeholders on either side of the creek, in both Brooklyn and Queens. According to the Vision Plan’s Executive Summary “The Creek
both connects and divides a number of communities in Queens (Long Island City, Sunnyside, Maspeth, and Ridgewood) and Brooklyn (Greenpoint, East Williamsburg and Bushwick), but “the industrial sector around Newtown Creek inadvertently has removed many of these neighborhoods from their waterway. Crucial to past and present regional economies, these industrial sites are both the cause of many of the Creek’s worst problems and hold the keys to many of the it’s most valuable clean water innovations.”

The vision includes 85 such innovations throughout seven reaches of the Creek. The projects are categorized into 4 sectors, those dealing with Remediation, Restoration, Recreation and Resilience. While not all of those plans will be realized, the vision plan is meant to inspire the community and the flow of ideas around Newtown Creek and spur city planning for Newtown Creek and shorelines citywide.

Proposed projects within the Long Term Vision Plan include a North Brooklyn Community Boathouse, a Hunter’s Point Promenade, a Kingsland Avenue Connection and a Gateway to Greenpoint.

What’s your vision for Newtown Creek?

 

About Lucie Levine

Lucie Levine is the founder of Archive on Parade, a local tour and event company that aims to take New York’s fascinating history out of the archives and into the streets. She’s a Native New Yorker, licensed New York City tour guide, and freelance writer with a passion for the city’s social, political and cultural history.

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