Environment

THIS THURSDAY (12/14): NAG Environmental Happy Hour!

Muchmore's exterior

Via Neighbors Allied for Good Growth:

Do you want to get involved with a North Brooklyn neighborhood group? Do you care about environmental issues? Join us for a drink! The five-minute presentations are purposefully short so that you’ll have plenty of time to grab a drink and talk directly with the experts and your neighbors.

WHERE: Muchmore’s | 2 Havemeyer St
WHEN: Thursday, Dec 14th 6:30-8:30pm (presentations 7:00-7:30pm)

RSVP on Facebook

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Sustainable Shine: Greenpoint Glitter’s Biodegradable Cosmetics Help the Planet

Greenpoint Glitter founder Prue Watty
Greenpoint Glitter founder Prue Watty

A little bit of glitter can go a long way. It’s a fabulous way to give your day a little something lustrous, whether it’s on an outfit, an accessory, or even in makeup or lotion. And of course our dance party favorite: body glitter. However, it’s less fabulous, when all those magical sparkles–traditionally made of tiny bits of plastic–wash out into the ocean and float around for eternity. (Sound familiar? Your face wash did the same thing with its now banned microbeads).

Thankfully, Greenpoint Glitter is helping take the eco-guilt out of glitter with their certified compostable body glitter, specially produced from biodegradable film.

We sat down with Greenpoint Glitter founder Prue Watty to get the nitty gritty on her company, the glitter business, and what makes biodegradable glitter so special.

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Neighbors Allied For Good Growth Fundraiser Gala This Thursday (10/26)!

Neighbors Allied For Good Growth (NAG), is a long standing community group made up of dedicated local activists that volunteer their time. If you’re not already aware, NAG was instrumental in the Where’s Our Park campaign for the city to obtain the last parcels of land in Bushwick Inlet to create a new neighborhood park (and it was a success!). They are also helping our neighbors to test levels of lead in our soil. And they created a neighborhood Toxicity Map, a valuable tool and resource for members of our community. These are just some of the major community, development and environmental issues that NAG has given our neighborhood the power to address. In short, they are pretty badass.
This year NAG has partnered with the Greenpoint Waterfront Association for Parks and Planning (GWAPP) to develop a strategic plan for the creation of a new, larger community civic association. Looking forward to the 2018 launch of this new group, the 2017 NAG Gala is a chance to celebrate their 23 years of accomplishments and this new partnership. This Thursday October 26th, they are asking for your attendance and support. Here are the details:

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Who Sees the Trees? Greenpoint’s Citizen Pruners!

Emerald City. Photo by Lucie Levine
Emerald City. Photo by Lucie Levine

We might live in the concrete jungle, but according to this fantastic interactive tree map made by the New York City Parks department, Greenpoint is blessed with arboreal abundance. Our lovely neighborhood trees benefit from the care of volunteer environmental stewards, known as Citizen Pruners. 

Greenpointer Sarah Balistreri, the fabulous force behind the instagram account @wildgreenpoint, who helped conduct the tree census that informs the map, is a Citizen Pruner. After taking a tree identification course at the Brooklyn Brainery, which sparked a love of urban street trees, Sarah took the Trees New York Citizen Pruner course and became a licensed tree-hugger.

The Citizen Pruner course trains and certifies New Yorkers in “tree care, biology, identification and pruning.” Sarah explains that all of these skills and areas of knowledge are intertwined when it comes to properly caring for New York’s Trees, because knowing about a tree’s species, and the specific challenges that species has with weather or growth, helps inform how you prune it.

Trees New York is the only organization in the city that trains and certifies Citizen Pruners, and only certified Citizen Pruners can legally prune street trees in New York. Trees New York certifies about 200 Citizen Pruners every year, but Greenpoint residents are particularly lucky. Anyone who lives in zip code 11222 is eligible for the Greening Greenpoint Scholarship, and can take the course for just $15, thanks to funding from the Greenpoint Community Environmental Fund! Continue reading

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BQGreen fights Public Health Emergency with “Park out of Thin Air” over the BQE

BQGreen Rendering via Gothamist
BQGreen Rendering via Gothamist

Williamsburg is full of a lot of fabulous things like delicious food, beautiful art and exciting entertainment, but our neighborhood can’t boast a lot of park space. In fact, when it comes to parkland Williamsburg is ranked 46th out of 51 districts in New York City. And even within the neighborhood, the North Side has 15 times more park space per person than the South Side. The Friends of BQGreen hope to change that.

BQGreen will create a “park out of thin air” by extending a concrete platform over the BQE between South 3rd and South 5th Streets. The Green will incorporate Marcy Green and Rodney Park and include “3.5-acres of open space with a flower garden, a playground, a baseball diamond, barbecues, grassy and wooded areas, an indoor pool and a water play zone.”

Renderings of the proposed park are dynamic and inspiring, and Friends of BQGreen, including Deputy Borough President Diana Reyna, Los Sures, El Puente, and Open Space Alliance for North Brooklyn, see their project as akin to the High Line in terms of innovation, but the initiative could have an even more profound affect on the neighborhood when it comes to fighting air pollution and delivering “environmental justice” to residents who live in the shadow of the BQE. Continue reading

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Greenpoint’s Natural Greenery Inspires Conservation-Minded Butterfly Perfume

Butterfly Set via Euphorium Brooklyn
Butterfly Set via Euphorium Brooklyn

Greenpoint sports a lot of green. From McCarren Park to the G train, our slice of north Brooklyn is colorful. In fact, Greenpoint’s natural greenery has inspired Euphorium Brooklyn’s newest fragrance, Butterfly. Ten years ago, when olfactory artist and perfumer Stephen Dirkes moved into a loft on Commercial Street, he noticed that the weeds and wild flora growing on the banks of the Newtown Creek supported something stunning: the annual Monarch Butterfly migration between Canada and Mexico. Each year, the butterflies descend on the northern reaches of Greenpoint, heralding summer and bringing a spectacular natural grace to the industrial waterfront.

Stephen notes that while Newtown Creek’s wild plant life might be “a peculiar starting point to develop a fragrance palette, butterflies have done a remarkable job of curating a wide range of fragrant floral, mint, grass, & herbaceous notes for a perfumer to work with.”

And the fine fragrance world is all aflutter over Butterfly. Reviews call it “bright, clear and sparkling…unearthly and ethereal” and mark it as the go-to scent of the summer. But, Butterfly didn’t begin as a fragrance. Instead, it started as a local conservation effort.

When Greenpoint’s zoning laws changed, new development began to spring up on the water’s edge, where plants once grew undisturbed. Suddenly, the Monarch’s migratory path faced peril, and Stephen began researching butterfly gardens as a way to help sustain the natural habitat. Now, Stephen’s made it possible for anyone to be an armchair conservationist! Continue reading

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The Next Greenpoint Clean Up Day is This Weekend (8/12)!

Greenpoint Clean Up Day

Join the Greenpoint Chamber and Neighbors Allied for Good Growth for the third Curb Your Litter: Greenpoint clean-up day of 2017. This time, they’re partnering with the Newtown Creek Alliance to pay special attention to curbing the litter that enters into our waterways.

They will pick up street litter in Northeast Greenpoint (east of McGuinness Boulevard and north of Norman Avenue). As always, all volunteers will get a free lunch as a thank you for their efforts.

Greenpoint Clean Up Day
Saturday, August 12 | 10am-12pm
Meet at Broadway Stages, 203 Diamond Street.
RSVP and more details on Eventbrite

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Learn How To Talk To Trees on Sunday (7/16)!

Greening Greenpoint is hosting a street tree volunteer day on Sunday, July 16th, where Greenpointers will learn street tree care techniques, meet their neighbors, eat lunch & take home some tools to use in their tree beds.
What: Greenpoint Street Tree Volunteer Day 
Learn street tree care techniques, meet your neighbors, & take home a tree care toolkit! Lunch provided & children welcome!
When: Sunday, July 16 1-3pm
Where: American Playground (Corner of Franklin & Noble Street)
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Community Visioning, Newtown Creek History, and Green Roof Tour at Kingsland Wildflowers this Saturday (6/3)

kingsland-wildflowers-greenpoint-visitors-photo-by-mpenmannThis Saturday (June 3rd), you can tour the beautiful rooftop at Kingsland Wildflowers (520 Kingsland Ave), learn about the future of Newtown Creek at a community visioning workshop, and take a look back to its industrial roots with local historian Mitch Waxman. These events are all free and open to the public.

Schedule of Events:

1-4pm   Community Visioning with Riverkeeper and NCA, RSVP

5-7pm   Lecture and Kingsland Wildflowers Green Roof Tour with Mitch Waxman, NCA Historian, RSVP

More Deets:

Join Riverkeeper and the Newtown Creek Alliance in creating a cohesive community vision for Newtown Creek. With a Superfund cleanup and long-term plan to control sewage overflows on the horizon, now is an opportune time to engage stakeholders in imagining and designing a future Newtown Creek that provides greater opportunities for restoration, remediation, recreation, and resilience. RSVP

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Tour Newtown Creek By Ferry!

Newtown Creek Boat Tour
via Newtown Creek Alliance

On May 21st, Newtown Creek Alliance sets sail on Newtown Creek in a NY Waterway ferry boat. Historian Mitch Waxman and NCA Program Manager Willis Elkins are hosting the boat ride, and participants are invited to learn about the Creek’s rich industrial history, lasting legacy of contamination and environmental damage and on-going efforts to revitalize and restore this unique waterway in the heart of New York City.

This is a unique and rare way to be able to tour Newtown Creek and learn about our neighborhood’s (tragic) environmental history.

Newtown Creek Boat Tour | India Street Ferry Dock, 10 India Street
Sunday, May 21 | 2pm-4pm

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