Access to the waterfront and our beloved parks are two of the best things about living in North Brooklyn. However, we’re also home to innumerable environmental issues, ranging from multiple Superfund sites, a legacy of environmental racism perpetrated by the presence of the BQE, raw sewage frequently dumped into our water, and a new National Grid pipeline.
This April, as temperatures rise (a bit) and those eponymous showers will soon bring May flowers, consider doing your part to give back to Mother Nature. With so many different opportunities afforded by various community groups, there are plenty of ways, big or small, to get involved. This list is by no means definitive — Greenpointers are certainly actively stewards of the environment — but meant to serve as a starting place to dive into the work.
For more inspiration, check out our round-up of community gardens in North Brooklyn.
North Brooklyn Parks Alliance
Consider becoming a sustaining donor to this all-encompassing local parks organization.
On April 21, NBK Parks will host their second virtual meet-up of the year, a friendly and informative 90-minute session for anyone passionate about our green spaces to get involved, share ideas, and meet like-minded neighbors.
On April 23, a one-of-a-kind Design Summit will give locals a chance to make a pitch for what improvements they want to see in the neighborhood. NBK Parks invites students, residents, and business owners to submit their ideas on how to improve our green and open spaces. “Whether our ‘citizen planners’ were inspired to redesign the neighborhood’s street grid or just the garbage on their block, we asked that they consider their submission holistically,” the event’s invite reads. “Touching on the benefits and the possible pitfalls. Can they design a neighborhood with less friction and more function on a balanced green budget?”
Some of our most unique greenspaces are out of view from street level. Kingsland Wildflowers, on the roof of the Broadway Stages building at 520 Kingsland Ave, is kicking-off their Friday open hours on Earth Day, April 22. “[Newtown Creek Alliance] staff will be on hand to lead guided tours, answer questions about the roofs, provide educational resources on the ecological benefits of green roofs, and talk about all of our Newtown Creek work,” says the Eventbrite page. Take in the sunset, and get inspired to volunteer with Newtown Creek Alliance. Or, if you’re ready to get started right away, come back the next morning for a Greenroof Care volunteer event at 11 a.m.
Open hours will run 5 p.m. – 8 p.m, every Friday until June 24.
McCarren Park Demonstration Garden
North Brooklyn Mutual Aid recently launched this new initiative as “an open space for environmental education & climate justice.” An inaugural meeting took place on March 28, and volunteer hours are starting soon. Find out more here.
Our local branch of the Brooklyn Public Library also doubles as an environmental education center. They frequently host events designed to raise community awareness of sustainability and encourage appreciation of our natural world.
The library currently houses the groundbreaking Lenapehoking exhibition, which has inspired many events happening this month. Topics include a panel discussion about the Seed Rematriation Garden (April 14) and The Orchards of Lenapehoking, covering the historical agricultural practices of the Lenape (April 28).
Bird-lovers will enjoy bird-watching events co-hosted by the Audubon Society on April 16 and 23.
North Brooklyn Compost Project
North Brooklyn Compost Project is a volunteer-run and donation-based food scrap drop-off program. While curbside composting expands in our area, not everyone has access yet, so North Brooklyn Compost Project is key to shoring up that need.
They collect food scraps on Sundays at McGolrick Park from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and Transmitter Park from 11:30 p.m to 1:00 p.m.
Get your hands dirty, literally, and sign up to volunteer here.