Williamsburg’s new climate change-themed mini-golf course PUTTING GREEN has opened to the public on the waterfront. Developed by Two Trees Management, this installation marks the first interim use of the proposed River Ring site at North 1st and River St.
A combination of local businesses and food trucks will also offer a variety of food and beverage options for visitors to the 18 hole course, and the River Street Farm Collective, which will open with 25,000 square feet dedicated to sustainable farming, composting, research and education. Putting Green also offers low ticket prices ($5-$10) to ensure it is accessible to North Brooklyn community members. Any profits made from this course will be donated to local organizations addressing climate change across New York City including the Wildlife Conservation Society and the Newtown Creek Alliance.
“We are thrilled to welcome the public to PUTTING GREEN at the River Ring site in Williamsburg. This mini golf course is an opportunity to start a conversation with players of all ages about climate change and its impacts,” said David Lombino, Managing Director with Two Trees. “By repurposing this construction space, we were able to partner with local organizations and environmental groups to collectively create a space that the entire community can enjoy, similar to what Two Trees did with Domino Park’s North Brooklyn Farms and the skate park. We’re confident that PUTTING GREEN will help facilitate much-needed conversations about how to protect the environment and, even more specifically, the Williamsburg waterfront while still providing a beautiful open space for everyone.”
PUTTING GREEN consists of 18 holes created and designed by community partners and organizations focusing on different issues or themes surrounding climate change. The artists and designers, community and school groups, environmental advocacy organizations, and public agencies address diverse topics, including animal habitat, energy, green and blue infrastructure, and emissions.
Two Trees and the golf course designers took several steps to ensure that the most environmentally friendly methods were used to create each hole. For example, at the entrance to the course, the globe that visitors pass by was made from recycled plastic bottle caps and scraps of leftover turf. All of the curbing surrounding the holes is also made of 100% recycled tires, and all of the plants in and around the course were selected for their native habitat qualities and to complement the existing self-seeded landscape.
Alongside PUTTING GREEN, Two Trees worked with local partners to open and operate the River Street Farm Collective. The farm collective includes: an aquaponic farm by Oko Farms which donates a portion of its crops to farmers markets in underserved communities; an organics processing operation organized by The David Prize winner Domingo Morales of Compost Power; a pollinator meadow by Brooklyn Grange featuring plants native to New York; pollinator and environmental education by City Growers; oyster shell drop-off for the restoration of oyster reefs led by Billion Oyster Project; and an apiary and a honeycomb-themed art piece hosted by the Island Bee Project.
Located at River Street and North 1st Street, PUTTING GREEN is open to the public seven days a week. Monday – Wednesday: 12pm – 8pm and Thursday – Sunday: 10am – 8pm.
For a complete list of the 18 holes, please see below:
Hole 1: DOWN THE DRAIN
Kim Holleman (Brooklyn-Based Artist)
Litter and debris that accumulate on city streets get washed down storm drains and carried by rainwater into NYC waterways and beyond, affecting the health of marine life. An important step to healthy waterways in NYC is litter-free streets.
Hole 2: WHALE FALL FEAST
Dear Climate (Art Collective) and Black Goble (Architect)
When a whale dies and sinks, its carcass creates an entire ecosystem on the ocean floor, nourishing thousands of organisms. Ocean pollution affects this process and disrupts the food chain, impacting species from krill to whales.
Hole 3: CAPITALOCENE’S MELT
Juanli Carrion (Brooklyn-Based Artist)
Polar bears, the largest carnivorous mammals on Earth, have lost an extraordinary portion of their habitat due to the planet’s warming. As Arctic Ocean sea ice disappears, polar bears must travel further to hunt for food.
Hole 4: HIGHER GROUND
Mike Tribe (Brooklyn-Based Artist)
The shifting shoreline of Manhattan Island creates a playable backdrop for projected impacts of sea level rise by 2100 – modeled by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE).
Hole 5: STAYING AFLOAT
YMCA of Greater New York, Greenpoint (Nonprofit Organization)
To adapt to climate change and rising sea levels, cities of the future will need creative solutions: coastal management, elevated public transportation, and renewable energy from wind turbines, hydro- and solar power.
Hole 6: CHOICES
OBJ (Design Collective)
Extreme weather events alter habitable environments, triggering global displacement. Meeting the Paris Climate Agreement emissions reduction targets will help protect vulnerable communities and reverse the climate refugee crisis.
Hole 7: TWO PATHS
Lower East Side Girls Club
A new generation of environmental activists is advocating for a regenerative future that prioritizes nature, ends our reliance on fossil fuels, protects biodiversity, and creates equal opportunities.
Hole 8: SURGE GARDEN
Williamsburg High School for Architecture & Design (Public High School)
New York City has 520 miles of waterfront. Strategies for coastal resiliency – living breakwaters, coastal plantings, and riprap shorelines – can help with risk mitigation and protect our urban shoreline from storm surges and sea level rise.
Hole 9: ICE MELT
Blane De St Croix (Brooklyn-Based Artist), Paul Amenta (Artist) and Ted Lott (Architect)
Glaciers exist on nearly every continent, and their retreat is one of the most visible signs of climate change. Receding ice and snow cover significantly impact oceanic and atmospheric temperatures, affecting weather patterns globally.
Hole 10: FOREST FIRES
Blane De St Croix (Brooklyn-Based Artist), Paul Amenta (Artist) and Ted Lott (Architect)
Periodic wildland fires play a useful role in the life cycle of a forest. However, dry conditions caused by global warming have increased wildfires’ frequency and severity, leading to loss of life and crops, and deterioration in air quality.
Hole 11: HUMANS ARE THE KEY
Mel Chin (Artist)
Native plants support a wide range of wildlife, including pollinators, insects, and birds. They also nurture an ecosystem underground, promote symbiotic relationships among organisms and keep soil healthy and stabilized from erosion.
Hole 12: ENERGY EFFICIENT BUILDINGS
NYC Climate Action Alliance (Climate-Focused Nonprofit) and Building Energy Exchange (Climate-Focused Nonprofit)
Nearly 70% of NYC’s greenhouse gas emissions come from the city’s pre-war buildings, which are inefficient and in need of retrofitting. Building owners can lower their emissions by updating lighting, plug load, and HVAC strategies.
Hole 13: COMPOST FORE NYC
DSNY Sanitation Foundation (Nonprofit Organization)
Almost a third of NYC’s waste stream is organic matter. When sent to landfills, organics decompose and emit methane. Turning scraps into compost reduces these emissions and returns nutrients to the soil, completing the beneficial growth cycle.
Hole 14: METHANE MADNESS
Institute for Aesthletics & Tom Russotti (Brooklyn-Based Artist)
When cows digest food, microbes in their stomachs break down feed and produce about 220 lbs of methane a year. As global consumer demand for beef rises, sustainable farming practices are starting to address agricultural methane production.
Hole 15: THE BIG OYSTER
Billion Oyster Project (Citizen Science Project) and Chris Edmonds & Nat Quinn (Designers)
Oysters pump water through their gills, filtering toxic particles. Once ubiquitous in New York Harbor, they have nearly disappeared due to overfishing, pollution, and habitat loss. Restoring oysters is critical to healthier waterways.
Hole 16: FORE-WARD THINKING
WSP (Engineering & Design Firm)
Cities with extensive public transportation systems score high on sustainability and social equity. For example, NYC’s subway system can take you to any of its 472 stations emissions-free, making it a climate-conscious choice.
Hole 17: GREEN IT, NYC!
Julie Ember (Public Space Designer) and Katie Shima (Artist and Architect)
Did you know that 40% of NYC’s land cover is green? Trees, parks and wetlands make our city more resilient: they sequester carbon, lessen the urban heat island effect, provide wildlife habitat, and help New Yorkers connect with nature.
Hole 18: SHOOT THE BREEZE: BACK TO THE FUTURE WITH WIND ENERGY
Alison Simko (Journalist) and Kate Mulhauser (Designer)
Windmills powered life for settlers of New Amsterdam, and the city’s seal even features 17th c. windmill blades. To meet renewable power goals, NY State is developing offshore wind farms, returning to an energy source used 400 years ago.