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November 25, 2015

Hundreds of Brooklyn’s Business Leaders Attend BGI’s Fall Fundraiser, Greenway + Industry 2015

On November 18, hundreds of people from Brooklyn’s fastest  growing business districts came together to support the completion of the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway at the 3rd annual Greenway + Industry, a  benefit supporting Brooklyn Greenway Initiative (BGI).

The event was held at 26 Bridge St in DUMBO and honored Jonathan Marvel, FAIA, Principal and Founder of Marvel Architects, PLLC, David Ehrenberg, President and Chief Executive Officer, Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corp. (BNYDC) and Thomas Woltz, FASLA, Principal And Owner, Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects for their design of the Naval Hospital Cemetery Memorial Landscape at the Brooklyn Navy Yard being developed and built by BGI.

The evening started with a champagne reception followed by  a seated dinner, awards program, Greenway + Industry trivia, drinks and dessert with live music performances from The Bailsmen and Willie Martinez Trio.

Thank you to all who attended and sponsored the event.

Below is the speech read on behalf of our Honoree Thomas Woltz, FASLA, Principal And Owner, Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects who was unable to attend the event.

Thomas would have loved to join this gathering. Unfortunately he had to be in Auckland New Zealand tonight for the first public presentation of a master plan  for a park that shares many characteristics with the Naval Yard Cemetery: land that is a sacred ground to the Maori people and the central park for Auckland for the past hundred years. He would have loved to raise a glass to you all.

Instead he sent a few words for me to share with you  —  our colleagues and friends of the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative, Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation and Marvel Architects:

The Brooklyn Naval Yard Cemetery has a rich layered history that had been muted by time and isolation. Ecological and human stories slowly laid down, layer by layer, beginning with the very geology that lies beneath the site. From Native American settlement to early farmstead and orchards…to an unmarked repository of the flesh and bones that unite us in our humanity…we saw this land as RICH and FULL. Our design team unpacked this history to allow the next layer of landscape and memory to find its place.

The elemental concept of an elevated walk, a pollinator meadow and a sacred grove was intended to quietly evoke these histories of settlement and cultivation, life and death, to slow the heart rate and connect with the stories of the site. An established meadow will draw people, birds, moths and bees in a fecund celebration of life as a contemporary memorial to the known and unknown dead that once occupied this ground.

This recognition is a great honor for me and my colleagues at Nelson Byrd Woltz who have worked with our collaborators to bring a new chapter of life and history to this hallowed ground.

Thank you all.    

Thomas