November 28, 2017
Thank you for helping us make 2017 an incredible year of progress for the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway. Thanks to your ongoing support, this year saw countless milestones for the Greenway.
Below are some of our favorite images and stories from this year. Please help us keep up the momentum by making a 2017 tax deductible year end gift to Brooklyn Greenway Initiative. Our effectiveness as an organization hinges on your continued financial support.
This year, with a donation of $250.00 or greater you’ll be eligible to participate in a raffle of one of two bicycles, courtesy of IKEA.*
Happy holidays and best wishes for the new year.
* There will be a random drawing and the winner will be notified on Jan 15th, 2018. Winner must pick up their bicycle as is at BGI’s Offices during regular business hours (office is open Monday – Thursday; 10:00AM – 6:00PM), at a date and time mutually agreed upon within one month after notification.
Volunteer Planting Days
BGI hosted several volunteer days on the Greenway this year. Hundreds of volunteer hours contributed to the Greenway’s maintenance including: weeding, planting and tree care. The Berkeley Carroll School mulched tree pits along the Columbia St. segment of the Greenway, groups of community volunteers helped clean up the the Naval Cemetery Landscape, and corporate and community groups planted native flowers in giant pots along Imlay St in Red Hook. We couldn’t accomplish all we do to make the Greenway a pleasant and beautiful experience for cyclists, runners and pedestrians without volunteer support from these amazing institutions and community-minded individuals!
June: The Epic Ride
Around 700 hearty cyclists signed up to the 9th annual waterfront Epic Ride in June, a 25 or 40 mile ride along Brooklyn’s waterfront from Greenpoint to Riis Park Beach. The ride was a wet one this year but everyone got to finish at the beach party, go for a dip in the ocean and enjoy all of the festivities!
July: Brooklyn Waterfront Tastes
In July, 200 guests joined us at our annual summer benefit –Brooklyn Waterfront Tastes, held at Industry City. Guests enjoyed a huge array of food and drink from dozens of Brooklyn -based restaurants for a Sunday brunch tasting event.
July: Brooklyn Bike Rave
In September 2016, BGI launched the Brooklyn Bike Rave, a glowtastic night ride along the Greenway from Greenpoint to Brooklyn Bridge Park which finished with a party under the Archway under the Manhattan Bridge in Dumbo. In 2017 over 250 riders ranging in age from 4 to 70 years turned out for this 2nd annual event, decked out in lights, glowsticks and sound systems which played a synchronized playlist during the ride with bike speakers thanks to Citibike! The mobile dance party on wheels was the first ever event of its kind in the country and drew inspiration from other successful bike raves happening around the world.
October: Brooklyn Greenway Half & 5K
In October, BGI hosted the Brooklyn Greenway Half and 5K. This fifth annual event attracted around 1100 participants. Runners went on a 13.1 mile journey or 5K run or walk along the waterfront on a Red Hook – Greenpoint loop, via Brooklyn Bridge Park and the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
July: Adopt-a-Greenway Program Ramps Up
In 2017, BGI was thrilled to welcome Brooklyn Brewery, Catbird and Con Edison as new sponsors of BGI’s Adopt-a-Greenway Program! They join the ranks of Hudson Companies, MNS, MrKeet, The O’Connell Organization and Two Trees Management supporting BGI’s maintenance activities along the Greenway including : frequent litter removal, sweeping, plowing and the care of tree pits and other new landscaped areas. In return, sponsors get signage placed along the segments that they sponsor.
8 segments are currently available for adoption. For information about enrolling your business in this program, contact Brian McCormick, Executive Director at firstname.lastname@example.org
2017 Greenway Construction Updates- A Look Ahead
BGI Construction Highlights for 2018-20 include:
- Flushing Avenue: expected completion is the Summer of 2019.
- Kent Avenue South (Clymer St to Williamsburg St West): expected completion is the Fall of 2019.
- Gowanus Connector (Hamilton Ave – Smith St to 29th): expected completion is the Fall of 2020. Street is designed and fully funded and moving toward construction.
- Owl’s Head Connector: expected completion date is September 2019.
- 2nd Avenue ( 29th St to 39th St): expected completion is the Summer of 2020.
November: Greenway + Industry
At this year’s annual fall benefit Greenway + Industry, BGI brought together major business centers along the Brooklyn waterfront.
BGI was proud to honor and acknowledge Rony Vardi, Founder of Catbird for her support of BGI’s Adopt-a-Greenway program. Under this program, BGI provides essential maintenance services to keep the Greenway clean and green to the delight of the tens of thousands of people who use it daily.
Guest enjoyed cocktail reception hosted and sponsored by Alma Mexican Restaurant followed by a buffet dinner, drinks and dessert with live music performed by Michael Arenella & His Dreamland Orchestra throughout the evening.
Green Spaces: Columbia Waterfront Park
COLUMBIA WATERFRONT PARK is a planned green space that will provide a new amenity to the Columbia Street Waterfront District. The park will be developed on a roughly two-acre property that extends from Kane Street to Degraw Street on the west side of Columbia Street. The first phase of the park commenced in Spring 2014 when BGI volunteers completed a native grass planting. In 2015 BGI volunteers completed further plantings and built a fence, and NYC DOT installed bike racks and benches.
In August 2015, Columbia Waterfront Park received $500,000 in funding from Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, out of nearly $12 million allocated to parks across Brooklyn.
In December 2015, the NYS Department of State awarded $1.2 million in funding for Columbia Waterfront Park. BGI envisages this park’s landscape to serve as the northern end of the flood barrier system.
In 2018, BGI anticipates securing the remainder of funding to complete funding for Columbia Waterfront Park.
The Naval Cemetery Landscape
We had a number of programming offerings throughout the summer season of 2017. From Yoga in the Grove co-sponsored by Abhaya Yoga to Meditation and Writing workshops co-sponsored by Breathe Read Write and Being in the Wild, as well as The Tent of Casually Observed Phenologies installation by James Leonard, we ran a gamut of interesting programs.
We were also happy to have partnerships with The Horticultural Society of New York (The Hort), who working with science teachers and students of The Green School participated in the transformation of the site and engage in experiential education their while having the exposure to the effects of landscape immersion, as well as City Growers, who ran the Urban Ecology workshop that focused on important pollinators, the native plants that provide forage through the seasons, and invasive, non-native plants that threaten our urban ecosystem.
Resiliency: Greenway as a Flood Protection Barrier in Red Hook
Working with NYC DOT, Mayor’s office of Recovery and Resiliency, BGI is in the process of completing a study for the construction of the Greenway in Red Hook to contribute to coastal flood protection.