Brooklyn Greenway InitiativeJune 18, 2014© Julienne Schaer

Building the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway

For a decade, Brooklyn Greenway Initiative (BGI) has acted as the catalyst for the establishment, development and long-term stewardship of the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway.

Beginning in 2004, BGI and planning partner Regional Plan Association (RPA) hosted initial public workshops along the Brooklyn waterfront to develop a Conceptual Plan. BGI and RPA then worked directly with NYC DOT to host additional workshops and develop the Implementation Plan for the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway, which was released to the public on June 21, 2012.

Today, the Greenway consists of 23 NYC DOT capital projects, spanning 14-miles from Greenpoint to Bay Ridge:

  • 5 miles of the Greenway are now available for public use.
  • 4 additional segments are now in design and engineering.
  • BGI is actively seeking funding to move more segments toward implementation.

Use The Greenway Now→

Maintaining the Greenway

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Goldman Sachs Volunteer Day

Now that the Greenway is being implemented, BGI is planning for the long-term stewardship and
maintenance of the 14-mile route and numerous adjacent green spaces currently under development.

BGI studied numerous maintenance revenue models and worked with NYC DOT to create a new city-wide Adopt-a-Greenway program:

  • As the Greenway segments are implemented, BGI will adopt each of them and secure co-sponsors to fund ongoing maintenance.
  • BGI is launching its Adopt-a-Greenway maintenance operation in Summer 2014.
  • Several sections of the route are already maintained by BGI, in partnership with non-profit community service providers, corporate volunteer programs, and many local residents.
  • BGI also maintains three sites through New York State’s Adopt-a-Highway program.

More About Caring For The Greenway →

Green Spaces

BGI is currently leading the design development for three green spaces adjacent to the trunk greenway route:

Naval Cemetery Landscape, developed in partnership with the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation; Columbia Waterfront Park, a roughly two-acre property in the Columbia Waterfront District; and Williamsburg Bridge Park, a community driven project.

As additional funds are secured, more green spaces along the Greenway will be identified and designed.

More About Green Spaces On The Greenway→

Stormwater Infrastructure

BGI is working to include elements of stormwater infrastructure along the trunk Greenway route and as part of all adjacent green spaces. The goal is to use stormwater infrastructure to prevent the release of raw sewage into the East River and New York Harbor after storms:

  • Using the Greenway as the backbone of a stormwater system keeps most of the stormwater in the sub-watershed from entering the City’s combined sewer system.
  • Benefits include support for greener streetscapes and reduction in frequency of the release of raw sewage into the City’s waterways.
  • BGI has developed draft guidelines for the next greenway segments that NYC DOT is designing. based stormwater strategy and will help retain stormwater in heavy rains and prevent the release of raw sewage into the East River and New York Harbor after storms. Eventual treatments may include new trees and plantings, permeable pavement surfaces, and catch basins located underground.
  • In Red Hook and Sunset Park, BGI is also pursuing the implementation of the greenway as a hurricane flood barrier.

More About Our Green Initiatives→

Programs & Events

New Views 2014

New Views  Summer Benefit 2014

BGI hosts a variety of events, tours and public programs throughout the year, including The Epic Ride, a  40 mile ride along the Brooklyn-Queens Waterfront, The Brooklyn Greenway Half, the only half marathon exclusively on the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway, and bicycle tours for all ages and abilities.

In 2012, the BGI Gallery was launched, featuring artists who live or work along the greenway route. BGI also hosts two benefit events each year to raise funds to support our work.

Get involved by becoming a member today or volunteer.  We’ll notify you of upcoming events and volunteer opportunities. You can also involve your company by taking part in our corporate volunteer program.

Go to the Events Calendar →