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Brooklyn Greenway Initiative (BGI) is the non-profit organization committed to the establishment, development and long-term stewardship of the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway.

Co-Founders

Meg Fellerath is BGI’s Director of Programs and Operations. Originally from western North Carolina, Meg has lived in Brooklyn for the past 15 years. Her earlier work in the non-profit field focused on experiential education and tour/travel program management. When she’s not exploring the city, Meg can often be found hiking in the Adirondacks. Meg serves on the board of the Brooklyn Queens Land Trust and is an active member of her community garden.

Brian McCormick is BGI’s Director of Development and Administration. Brian hails from Mystic, CT, moved to NYC in 1990 and has lived in the Columbia Street Waterfront District for many years. Brian is naturally drawn to the water as a source of inspiration and fun! In his spare time, Brian writes poetry and music, is a big fan of Big Band Music, and has a passion for Brooklyn’s architectural, social and topographical history with a focus on the waterfront. Brian is on the board of the Columbia Waterfront Neighborhood Association.

Milton Puryear manages project development, working with public agencies and private interests to implement the greenway. In his former career he was an investment analyst. He has always valued nature and active recreation including cycling, swimming and kayaking. Milton is also the project manager for the restoration of the Mill River and the creation of Mill River Park & Greenway in Stamford, CT.

Programs and Administration

  • Olivia Lynch, Program Manager
  • Harry Kaplan, Information Technology
  • Melanie Roberts, Graphic Design
  • Sarah Senatore, Administrative Assistant
  • TancilTown Media, Web Development
  • Ten Key Pros, Bookkeeping and Accounting

Partners

Public Contributors

Throughout the planning process for the greenway, BGI has negotiated for and secured property commitments from both public agencies and private owners, including:

  • NYC Department of Transportation
  • NYC Department of Parks & Recreation
  • The Port Authority of NY & NJ
  • NYC Economic Development Corporation
  • Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation
  • Brooklyn Bridge Park
  • Federal Bureau of Prisons

Government and Civic Partners

  • NYC Department of Design & Construction
  • NYC Department of Environmental Protection
  • Congresswoman Nydia M. Velazquez
  • NYS Senator Daniel Squadron
  • NYS Assemblywoman Joan Millman
  • NYS Assemblyman Joseph Lentol
  • NYC Council Member Brad Lander
  • NYC Council Member Steve Levin
  • NYC Council Member Letitia James
  • The Horticultural Society of New York
  • The Green School
  • Red Hook Community Justice Center
  • And more…

Board of Directors

  • Noah Budnick, Treasurer
  • Michael Cairl, Chairman
  • Laurie Ginsberg
  • Sharelle Hicks
  • Robert A. Levine, Secretary
  • Gregory T. O’Connell
  • Sumner Pingree
  • Robert Pirani
  • Michael Porto
  • Milton Puryear
  • Joseph Vance, AIA

Investment

Regional Plan Association (RPA), a regional nonprofit planning and advocacy organization, contributed planning assistance.

Financial investment from the NYS Department of State and the Brooklyn Borough President’s Office allowed the team to undertake a Phase 1 Conceptual Plan.

Congresswoman Nydia M. Velazquez sponsored $14.6 million in federal TEA-LU funding for design and construction of the greenway.

Initial commitments for greenway right-of-way were secured from the Port Authority of NY&NJ, NYC Department of Transportation (DOT), and the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation.

Growth

In 2004, the three co-founders incorporated Brooklyn Greenway Initiative, and over the past eight years BGI has moved from its beginnings as an all-volunteer organization into its current role as a professional 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation spearheading the planning, implementation and stewardship of the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway.

As the nonprofit organization leading this collaborative process, BGI coordinates the participation of public agencies, private property owners, four community boards, and numerous civic organizations and elected officials, while at the same time building awareness and support among the 500,000+ waterfront residents.

What's Next?

Today the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway is a New York City capital project. The greenway is also a new model for urban design that addresses open space and sustainable transportation priorities while bringing needed environmental services to the Brooklyn waterfront. BGI is advancing a vision for a green infrastructure backbone that will, over time, reduce the release of raw sewage into the East River. In addition, BGI is pursuing restoration of native plant communities throughout the watershed.

Going forward, BGI’s primary role will be as the steward of the Greenway, and already the organization has taken responsibility for several sections of the route through the Adopt-a-Highway program. BGI has grown into a membership organization with broad-based corporate and community support, and partnerships that span many disciplines.