It may have been the hottest day of the year, but rushing river breezes kept cool the 250 supporters of Brooklyn Greenway Initiative (BGI) who gathered on June 23rd for New Views 2010. This year, BGI’s annual benefit took place on the waterfront at Northside Piers in Williamsburg. Northside Piers welcomed BGI’s guests with a refreshing frozen drink and soon everyone was off to the waterfront esplanade to enjoy spectacular new views, along with the “hot and sweet” jazz stylings of Michael Arenella and his quartet, and a light summer buffet – perfect complements to the good cheer and friendly spirit that prevailed throughout the evening.
BGI co-founder Milton Puryear expressed appreciation to BGI’s Board, host committee, event sponsors and guests for their support and their help in making the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway a reality, then introduced two special honorees.
New York State Secretary of State Lorraine Cortés-Vázquez was honored as Government Partner of the Year. Funding for planning the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway is provided by the NYS Department of State Division of Coastal Resources with funds provided under Title 11 of the Environmental Protection Fund. This funding is sponsored by the Office of Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz.
Neighbors Allied for Good Growth (NAG) was honored as Community Partner of the Year. Eric Radezky, representative to Assemblyman Joseph Lentol introduced NAG Co-chair Ward Dennis, who accepted the honor in recognition of NAG’s ongoing work to clean-up and open the waterfront, as well as to encourage safe and sustainable transit in North Brooklyn.
A proclamation from State Senator Daniel Squadron recognized BGI, its supporters and the New Views 2010 honorees. Each of the honorees also received a large-format commemorative map of the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway.
As the sun set over the East River, BGI co-founders Brian McCormick and Meg Fellerath kicked off the raffle amidst a flurry of last minute ticket-buyers. Guests assembled near the stage and waited in suspense for the chance to win the following great items: a bicycle donated by Bespoke Bicycles, two bicycles donated by Trek; a party at Water Taxi Beach, a cruise on the Zephyr, and a speedboat ride on the Shark, donated by Harbor Experience Companies; and personal fitness training sessions donated by Annette Lang Education Systems. A live auction was then held for a stunning Dutch bicycle donated by Rolling Orange.
The Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway is now a NYC Department of Transportation project. Preliminary design and engineering is underway this year, using federal funding secured by Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez. When complete, the greenway will be a 14-mile continuous landscaped route with separate paths for pedestrians and cyclists.
To learn more about upcoming events such as the 2nd annual Brooklyn Waterfront Epic Ride on July 18th and ongoing historic tours by bicycle of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, go to www.brooklyngreenway.org. Also, to celebrate the recent expansion of BGI’s office space, there will be an Open House in early fall, to which all of BGI’s supporters will be invited.