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 you’re interested in North Brooklyn parks and have some time to dedicate to a good community cause, then this gig with the North Brooklyn Open Space Alliance might be for you!
The Open Space Alliance for North Brooklyn is seeking someone to manage the growing group of generous, dedicated volunteers working to make their neighborhood parks and community better. The Volunteer Coordinator is a new position and is responsible for recruiting, training, supervising, rewarding and retaining the individuals belonging to OSA’s Volunteer Corps. The Volunteer Coordinator will help volunteers engage in opportunities that meet their interests. He / she will track volunteer performance data, and create program reports for the community, the OSA board and staff and its funders. The commitment is 10-15 hours per week. The role is ideally suited to a retiree or a homemaker willing to make a long-term commitment. Experience managing individuals and/or a team is required. Experience managing volunteers is preferred. Please contact OSA Executive Director Joe Mayock if you’re interested in learning more.
If people get involved, Cooper Park will get better! Please join Friends of Cooper Park for their first meeting!
When:Monday, November 13, 6pm-7:30pm Where:St. Nicks Alliance, 2 Kingsland Avenue Who: Current and future volunteers, park stewards and activists Food and Drinks: Yes! A complimentary light buffet dinner and drinks will be served Childcare will be provided More info: “Cooper Park can be so much more—health club, art studio, outdoor classroom, a place where we meet when we get together with friends and neighbors, and a space where we connect with nature. Our neighborhood’s friends groups, including Friends of Bushwick Inlet Park (FBIP) and McGolrick Park Neighborhood Alliance (MPNA), have demonstrated the value of parks groups, helping raise millions of dollars in capital improvements and getting neighbors involved in improving their parks! The sky’s the limit for Cooper Park….if we all get involved!”
The Open Space Alliance for North Brooklyn is hosting a Town Hall meeting this Thursday November 2nd from 6:30pm-8pm, where folks can pow-wow about ideas for improving our parks, as well as discussing park programming like health and wellness events, movie nights, music and art events, historical and nature walks and food events. Here’s a recap from the 2016 Town Hall meeting. This Thursday’s meeting will be held at the McCarren Play Center (776 Lorimer Street), and includes a light buffet dinner and drinks.
When: Thursday, November 2, 6:30pm – 8pm Where: McCarren Play Center, 776 Lorimer (between Driggs and Bayard) Who: Neighbors who love their parks and want to see more parks and better-kept, safer parks with more programming Food and Drinks? Yes! A complimentary light buffet dinner and drinks will be served *Childcare will be provided RSVP:[email protected] (for headcount for food)
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 →
Looks like Greenpoint could be getting another park! The Open Space Alliance and the Department of Transportation are holding a meeting on June 28 to offer the community the chance to give input on possible open space usage underneath the Kosciuszko Bridge. They’ll also be hosting a tour of the proposed park site on June 24th, but the tour is capped at 25 people and currently full.
What: Kosciuszko Bridge Park Community Planning Meeting When: Wednesday, June 28, 6:30 – 8:30 pm Where: The Park House at Bushwick Inlet Park, 86 Kent Avenue (at N. 9th Street) RSVP here
What’s been going on with the negotiations between the city and the owner of the CitiStorage site? Come join Friends of Bushwick Inlet Park tonight at Greenpoint Beer & Ale to chat about the park’s future. While there’s currently nothing specific to report, FBIP has been told that the parties have begun negotiating, so they’re cautiously optimistic. But that said, they believe that time is of the essence and hope the parties will come to a settlement soon. However, if negotiations fall apart and no deal is made then potentially the only remaining course of action would be for the city proceed to eminent domain and condemn the CitiStorage site for the public good, fulfilling the 2005 rezoning agreement to the benefit of all New Yorkers.
Join FBIP tonight and engage with fellow open space advocates!
Greenpoint Beer and Ale | 7 N15th St @ Franklin St. Wednesday October 5th Meet Up at 7:00pm Updates + Q&A at 7:30-8:00pm Craft Beer & Conversation thereafter
Americans waste A LOT of food–35 million tons a year! In fact, we throw out more food than plastic, paper, metal, or glass. If that wasn’t scary enough, this disturbing trend is increasing each year. In NYC, approximately 35 percent of our garbage consists of discarded food. This is where the beauty of a city wide composting program comes into play.
A couple years ago, New York City set an ambitious goal of diverting 75 percent of trash from landfills by 2030. With food waste taking up such a big chunk of valuable landfill real estate, it’s no wonder the city wants to expand its composting programs. Lucky for us, Greenpoint is next on the list!
Well I hate to say I told you so, but even as CitiStorage still burns, the 11 acre lot could be sold to private developers–as soon as tomorrow, warns City Councilman Steve Levin. Many of you may recall from last week’s post, the future of the CitiStorage site was on shaky ground, but I doubt any of us would imagine losing our parkland so soon.
According to the FDNY, the site is still under investigation and investigators have yet to access the origin of the fire due to hazardous conditions. For the unforseeable future, we won’t know if there was foul play that sent CitiStorage up in smoke, but we do know the land is up for grabs, and perhaps to the highest bidder.
So while I don my silk turban and gaze once again into my crystal ball to predict what other crazy conspiracy theories might come true–like arson charges and measly insurance payouts–I am here to warn you: A war is afoot to reclaim CitiStorage as parkland and it’s time we start sharpening our skewers.
The South Williamsburg neighborhood group El Puente is hosting a CRITICAL CALL TO ACTION tonight and everyone from Williamsburg and Greenpoint should be there. Continue reading →