Greenpoint residents have long been concerned about the open entrances to Greenpoint Playground at Dupont and Franklin Streets. John Whiteman, of Arete Living Arts Foundation, explained, “The playground has two large entrances with no gates. The main entrance leads right out onto a busy roadway. It is also beside a heavy construction site so there are lots of large vehicles coming through. Many times I have seen small children run through the gate and out toward the streets while horrified parents run after them.”
He shared his concern with Mayor de Blasio, Brooklyn Councilman Stephen Levin, and the Parks Department. The City has headed his cry. The Parks Department began discussing the project with local Greenpointers last fall, and installed gates at the end of March. Continue reading →
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 →
If the current Columbia study on lead levels in Greenpoint’s soil has you steering clear of all things growing, community gardens could help you find a safer place to try out your green thumb: the study finds that public park spaces have significantly lower concentrations of lead than private yards. Further, based on Cornell’s 2014 study of New York City community garden soils, NYC Parks GreenThumb (which administers the city’s community gardens) prioritized clean soil deliveries to affected gardens.
So, ready to pull a Joni Mitchell and get yourself back to the garden? With over 600 community gardens throughout all five boroughs, New York City has the largest community gardening program in the nation. This handy NYC Parks GreenThumb Community Garden Guide lets you search by zip code or address to find the ones closest to you. Read on for a roundup of local community gardens. Continue reading →
Are you an artist working and living in Brooklyn? You can become a NYC Parks featured artist at the park house at Bushwick Inlet Park. Attend the open house this Wednesday to tour the space, meet fellow artists and get guidelines for submission.
Call for Artists: NYC Parks/Brooklyn Recreation Deadline: May 20, 2017
Open House: Wednesday, April 19 | 6:30pm – 8pm Where: Bushwick Inlet Center | Kent Avenue & North 9th Street
This program is open to all Brooklyn artists and arts organizations. However, emergent artists with a strong sense of community engagement or community focused practice are encouraged to apply. For more information and/or to RSVP: [email protected]
Located in the heart of Greenpoint is a park named for longtime neighborhood advocate Monsignor McGolrick, an Irish pastor who became a major community figure in the late 1800s. These days, the Greenpoint area has a new community leader. Her name is Konstancja Maleszyńska.
She works for the Open Space Alliance for North Brooklyn, a non-profit that partners with the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation to help “fill the gaps” that result from underfunding and understaffing within the city department. One of her current projects is organizing monthly “Saturday Sweeps” of McGolrick Park, where neighbors can come meet one another and work together to pick up litter. Continue reading →
Hold the phone. McCarren Park is getting an ice skating rink?!
It’s true! The McCarren Park Pool located on the Greenpoint-Williamsburg border will serve double duty, transforming into an ice rink during winter months. The rink will open on November 15 and will be the first of its kind in northern Brooklyn. Continue reading →
Aside from sitting in a/c watching Twin Peaks, which I recommend (aka heaven!) – here are other ways to stay cool in this motherf’in’ heat:
• Take a dip! The McCarren Park Pool is open from 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
• Open a fire hydrant! Spray caps can be obtained by an adult 18 or over, free of charge, at local firehouses. More info here.
• Borrow a kid! Sprinklers (now called “spray showers”) are on in parks, but don’t be creepy. You can’t go into the playground without accompanying a kid. Check out McGolrick Park, American Playground (Franklin St bet. Milton St & Noble St) & Greenpoint Playground (Franklin St. bet. Commerical St. and Dupoint St.)
• Water Balloon Fight! The water fountains in parks were specifically engineered for filling massive quantities of water balloons. Nothing is better than a good old fashioned water balloon fight.
• I love this one: Don’t exercise! Especially from 11am-4pm.
• Wear sunscreen! And cover up.
• Drink plenty of H20! (reduce consumption of alcohol (sorry!) and caffeine)
• Don’t leave your dog or kids in a car! Temps in car get much hotter faster and dogs and kids die every year from being left in cars. If you see this neglectful behavior – call 911!
Yesterday morning’s walk to the farmers market brought some good bird sightings! It started with a Red Bellied Woodpecker battling with a starling for access to a cavity in a London planbe tree in McGolrick park. We’ve seen a lot of woodpeckers in the neighborhood but they are always a treat and this is a particular favorite of mine with the vivid red head (not sure why its called red bellied as its belly is cream colored) and spectacular black and white speckled wings.
Later as we returned from the market Jen saw something small brown rooting around in the undergrowth which turned out to be a Hermit Thrush!
I’ve only seen these in more dense cover in wooded areas of Prospect and Owl’s head parks so this was a real surprise. They are similar to Robins but smaller and more reclusive. They scratch around in the leaves for insects and have a unique habit (among thrushes) of bobbing their reddish brown tail at regular intervals.
As we turned to leave the thrush to his chitinous breakfast I looked up and saw what at first appeared to be an owl in the tree overhead. It turned out to be a very fluffed up Red Tailed Hawk who had been watching the Thrush and probably thinking of its next meal.