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Across the River to Greener Pastures

Uncategorized // Mar 03, 2009

Safe to say that Brooklyn is Hot! The Boom Borough, as it is affectionately called, has experienced many noteworthy advances over the last decade. Brooklyn’s green spaces are part of its allure. This series will focus on the development and design, continued maintenance, and history of green space, both existing and proposed, in the borough of Brooklyn, with a focus on the western shore from Greenpoint to Redhook.

Green space, especially in the form of parks and nature preserves, are integral parts of every American city. By offering opportunities for recreation, reflection, and relaxation, parks improve community health and increase property values. They provide habitat for numerous species of animals and plants, and cool city air through transpiration and evaporation.  Brooklyn’s green spaces includes famous parks such as Olmstead and Vaux’s jewel, Prospect Park,  which while perhaps not quite as famous as it’s big brother Central Park,  is arguably a finer park.

But let’s start with a new park concept. The Bushwick Inlet Park,  a 28 acre park that will abut the newish East River State Park on North 8th and  9th streets in Williamsburg, will eventually occupy the shoreline all the way up to Quay  Street( the equivalent of almost 9 blocks). All this is a very short walk from the first stop in Brooklyn on the L train at Bedford  Avenue.  Conceived as part of the re-zoning of Williamsburg and Greenpoint in 2006, the Parks  Department calls it, “A contemporary park featuring a playground, a multi-purpose field, a site for a future seasonal café, a naturalized waterfront edge, and a multi-use bicycle path. The construction of a combination community space, district headquarters and comfort station will service the needs of the newly created Bushwick Inlet Park. This facility will house Parks Department offices and maintenance trucks, in addition to public restrooms and community spaces and multi-purpose rooms.”

Phase 1 (shown above), will go ahead in two parts. Phase 1A will be the multipurpose athletic field and Phase 1B is a maintenance building /comfort station/community space, with a playground and water’s edge/wetlands. With the land acquisition already complete for Phase 1, work is already in progress and the hope is that both Phase 1 and Phase 2 will be complete by summer 2010

The overall site plan is no doubt a larger undertaking, but in just 3 short years, 3 blocks of the Williamsburg waterfront has become green space. The views are INCREDIBLE!  This is the kind smart growth plan that will help Williamsburg continue in its development as one of the premier neighborhoods in all of NYC.