The community organization Friends of Bushwick Inlet Park has been fighting for green space in North Brooklyn since 2005. That year, the City rezoned Greenpoint and Williamsburg, leading to frenzied development in both neighborhoods. At the time of the Rezoning, the City promised to compensate North Brooklyn by adding park space to the neighborhood, with 27-acre Bushwick Inlet Park being the most prominent among the green parcels. But, 13 years later, residents are still waiting for that park space, and local advocacy groups like Open Space Alliance, Neighbors Allied for Good Growth, Greenpoint Waterfront Association for Parks and Planning, and of course, Friends of Bushwick Inlet Park, have been fighting from that time til this to hold the City accountable.
Goal 2: Create a balance between active and passive recreation opportunities to serve the diverse recreation needs of the community
Goal 3: Identify appropriate opportunities for direct interaction with the river, such as boating
Goal 4: Promote a healthy east river environment through sustainable design practices, habitat enhancement, and public education
Goal 5: Develop design guidelines to unify the waterfront as a whole, while encouraging the creation of unique, memorable spaces on an individual basis
Goal 6: Reflect the rich character, heritage and culture of the community in both publicly and privately developed open spaces.
Neighborhood advocates had enormous success working toward those goals in 2017: In April, Mayor de Blasio closed on all 27 acres of parkland, ensuring that Bushwick Inlet Park will be a reality; in October, the Mayor pledged an additional $17.5 million in funding to develop the park, and over the summer, the City finished remediating the 50 Kent parcel of parkland. Following those spectacular strides, Friends of Bushwick Inlet Park hopes to take advocacy “to the next level” in 2018, pushing the City, the Parks Department, and other involved stakeholders to remediate, design and develop the rest of the park with community input, in a way that adheres to the principles of the original Master Plan. Continue reading →
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)
New York City is a super city. We have it all. But sometimes, having it all means warts-and-all, as is the case with the city’s three Federal Superfund sites. Superfund sites are areas designated by the federal government as hazardous toxic waste disposal sites. The Superfund program holds polluting manufactures liable for the waste their businesses leave behind, and provides compensation, cleanup and emergency response services for the environment and communities surrounding the sites. New York’s Federal Superfund sites — The Gowanus Canal, our very own Newtown Creek, and the Wolff-Alport chemical site in Ridgewood — are a potent reminder of the city’s industrial past, and, perhaps, a new cause celebre in Washington. Continue reading →
According to WNYC, the MTA has 119 closed entrances throughout the system. The MTA shuttered these access points when the subway fell into disrepair in the 1970s, but as ridership climbs toward its post-war high of 6.9 million riders a day, inaccessible entrances only contribute to the crowding and delays that plague the system. Minor told WNYC in 2015, “This is a major cause of subway delays, because you’re forcing people to enter at basically one or two access points,” which causes people to bunch up when they get on the train, and to bottleneck along the platform when they exit.
With the impending L closure, Minor’s plan takes on a new urgency. The Lorimer/Metropolitan Station served over 15,000 people per weekday in 2016. That’s over 5 Million riders per year.According to the MTA, Lorimer/Metropolitan ranks 101 out of 422 stations in the system when it comes to ridership, which makes the station busier than many stations in Manhattan and the outer boroughs. Add to this that the station will likely see a surge in riders switching from the L to the G during the shutdown.
The Station’s closed staircases and entrance are situated on either side of Union Avenue at the intersection of Hope and Powers Streets, and at the corner of Union Avenue and Grand Streets. These defunct entrances are just a few of the 10 closed entrances, and 27 closed staircases in North Brooklyn, along G, L, J, M and Z lines. Minor’s plan to reopen the shuttered access points calls for full ADA Accessibility in the station, to make commuting easier for New Yorkers during the shutdown and after.
According to Second Avenue Sagas, the MTA is looking into opening the closed entrances, but non-committal on when, or if, it will follow through on the plan. The MTA has this to say on the issue: “As part of our efforts to accommodate growing ridership, we are studying and evaluating closed access points throughout the subway system and we’re looking at every idea for how to provide alternate service to L customers during any potential shutdown.”
You can sign Minor’s petition to “Expand access[ibility] to, at and from the Lorimer St L-Metropolitan Av G station complex.” on Change.Org here
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:
The Williamsburg Wine Bash benefits The Fire House North Brooklyn Community Center, which is close to raising enough funds to create a community center that will host cultural programming, exhibitions, events and classes. It will also be home to Neighbors Allied for Good Growth (NAG) and The People’s Firehouse (PFI), two organizations that serve the Greenpoint/Williamsburg community with grassroots organizing, advocacy, outreach/education on environmental justice, affordable housing development, tenant services, and more.
Graham stop, Williamsburg, circa 2005. My mid-20s Brooklyn newbie roommates and I had a garden in our backyard, and we grew tomatoes, sunflowers, peppers and zucchini. But after one of our zucchinis grew to be three feet long*, we started to wonder whether our dirt was actually safe enough to grow anything. Maybe we should have thought about that before we planted. So before you buy any seedlings to get your summer garden going, you should probably find out whether your soil is home to a family of toxic chemicals. This Saturday (4/22) from 10am–2pm you can get your soil tested for free at the Greenpoint Reform Church (136 Milton Street), and NAG (Neighbors Allied For Good Growth) is hosting free soil testing workshops for three upcoming weekends. Here’s the schedule: Continue reading →
Did you know that North Brooklyn’s industrial legacy left behind an alphabet soup of toxins – TCE, PCBs, phthalates, benzene, and many other chemicals – that’s lingering beneath the surface in many sections of our hood?
Dewey Thompson of GWAPP began the meeting last Thursday by explaining that we were not there to discuss the 2005 Rezoning of the Greenpoint and Williamsburg Waterfront, which allows for the building of 30-40 story towers on the waterfront at the soon to be Greenpoint Landing – an “enormous development,” that will “change the landscape in every way.”
Despite this, concerns about the 2005 rezoning where on the minds of residents.
Instead the meeting was to discuss what is “as of right,” meaning what can be built based on the current zoning and how we can articulate what we want in the ULURP process as a “coherent voice,” with respect to the 77 Commercial St and Greenpoint Landing projects.
Currently both projects are in the “pre-ULURP” phase. The first public hearing held by Community Board 1 will be on August 13th, 2013 at 6:30pm at Automotive HS (50 Bedford Ave). Continue reading →