What sounds like a word salad of North Brooklyn mad libs, may bring some local fun this summer. Putting GREEN, a mini golf course built with sustainability in mind, will open at the North Brooklyn waterfront this summer. This pop-up at the River Ring site, which is currently being developed by Two Trees Management, will be accompanied by a 20,000 square foot sustainable farm, as part of an interim use project.
Located just north of Domino Park, River Ring will be a new stretch of public space along the East River. Both the golf course and farm will be open to the public, the later to be used for education and community programming.
Located at a former ConEd site, this portion of the Brooklyn waterfront has been inaccessible to the community for over 100 years. Now, with local partners, Two Trees is working to make portions of the site dedicated space to learn about environmental issues.
“Two Trees has a long history of utilizing local talent to create interim uses for the whole community to enjoy; first with Domino Park’s North Brooklyn Farms and the skate park, and now with River Ring’s miniature golf and sustainable farm,” River Ring along North Williamsburg Waterfront River Ring along North Williamsburg Waterfront. “By partnering with dozens of local organizations and environmental stewards throughout the city, we hope to elevate the conversation about climate change and our personal and collective roles in these issues, while at the same time immediately providing much needed beautiful open space for the community. We’re thrilled to build these spaces at no cost to taxpayers, with all proceeds going straight back to the organizations who are on the ground every day fighting this existential crisis.”
Located at River Street and North 1st Street in North Williamsburg, Putting GREEN will feature 18 holes spanning a 15,000 square foot tiered deck on the riverfront, each designed by a different community partner. Local artists and design professionals, community and school groups, environmental advocacy organizations and public agencies, have all designed unique concepts that relate to climate change.
Partners include artists and collectives Dear Climate, SiTE:LAB, Juanli Carrion, Mel Chin, Blane De St Croix, Kim Holleman, Katie Shima, and Mark Tribe; designers and engineers Julie Ember, Institute for Aesthletics, OBJ, MAS, and WSP Global; climate advocates and organizations Billion Oyster Project, Building Energy Exchange, DSNY Sanitation Foundation, NYC Climate Action Alliance, and Alison Simko; and community groups Lower East Side Girls Club, Greenpoint YMCA, and the Williamsburg High School of Architecture and Design.
The minigolf course is a designed to function as a microcosm illustrating some of the most pressing climate change concerns. “The designs take a closer look at various strained planetary systems, focusing on several broad themes: green and blue infrastructure, animal habitat, energy, and emissions,” says a news release about the course. “With movement and action at its core, the course challenges the players to see themselves as interconnected with global and local man-made climate phenomena.”
Putting GREEN will be open to the public seven days a week and will offer discounted ticket prices to ensure the course is accessible to all community members.
Adjacent to the course will be a sustainable farm, with several unique facets to emphasize the importance of environmental protection:
● An aquaponic farm by Oko Farms: The 8,000-square-foot space will include fish tanks and garden beds growing vegetables, herbs and flowers. Emphasizing the importance of local food production as a resilience measure in the face of disruption such as COVID-19, Oko Farms will teach aquaponic basics and donate crops to farmers markets in underserved communities.
● Educational composting operation by The David Prize winner Domingo Morales of Compost Power: This organics processing demonstration project will include a window, curing bay, and tool storage. Compost Power will offer an important stopgap for another year of the municipal organics collection suspension, helping the City meet its zero-waste goals through community power, and provide educational workshops, research and green-job training on-site.
● Pollinator meadow by Brooklyn Grange: A pollinator meadow planted with native flowers is being designed by Brooklyn Grange, and planted and maintained by the Domino Park gardening team. This collaboration will bring together two teams that are dedicated to increasing biodiverse green spaces for New York City’s people and wildlife, and the space will provide an inviting green area where people can connect with nature. As food security is tied to pollinator health, the nectar- and pollen-rich meadow will also act as an important connector of the other elements of the farm’s closed-loop system of beekeeping and growing food. Spent flower seed heads will be collected for children’s wildflower seed giveaways.
● Pollinator and Environmental Education by City Growers: Young people in New York City often feel disconnected to nature. City Growers creates programming that invites them to rethink what ‘nature’ is through hands-on, inquiry based explorations focused on the role of pollinators and native plants that make up our city’s vibrant urban ecosystem. City Growers will bring site-specific interactive activities to River Street that engage youth with the site and encourage them to dig deeper.
● 64-gallon bin for shell drop-off led by Billion Oyster Project: Billion Oyster Project will be offering the public and local restaurants the opportunity to drop-off recycled oyster shells. Billion Oyster Project diverts shells from landfills and reclaims this valuable resource for the restoration of oyster reefs. This new location at River Ring will allow Billion Oyster Project to increase collection capacity across Brooklyn.
● Two-hive mini apiary and a honeycomb-themed multifunctional art piece by Carolina Zuniga, Stacey Vazquez and Brenda Alvarez of the Island Bee Project: Embracing the urban female beekeeper identity, Carolina, Stacey and Brenda will offer talks, demonstrations and other hands-on, creative experiences to maximize the circular value of the apiary while showcasing their mission of preserving urban bees.