Building the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway
For over a decade, Brooklyn Greenway Initiative (BGI) has acted as the catalyst for the development, establishment and long-term stewardship of the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway, a 26-mile protected and landscaped route for pedestrians and cyclists that, when completed in 2021, will connect Brooklyn’s storied and iconic waterfront, parks and open space, commercial and cultural corridors, and new tech and innovation hubs for 2.65 million Brooklyn residents, over 1.1 million employees in Brooklyn, and 15 million annual visitors from across the City and around the world.
Maintaining the Greenway
Now that the Greenway is being implemented, BGI is planning for the long-term stewardship and
maintenance of the 26-mile route and numerous adjacent green spaces currently under development.
Naval Cemetery Landscape, developed in partnership with the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation.
Brooklyn Greenway Initiative Board of Directors
- Chair – Sumner Pingree
- Vice Chair – Michael Porto
Manager, City Government Affairs, Consolidated Edison Company of New York
- Secretary – Amy E. Turner
Senior Fellow, Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, Columbia Law School
- Treasurer – Ted Weissberg
Executive Chairman, Digital Marketing Institute
- Board Members
Scott Demel, Director, Marvel Architects PLLC
Michael Cairl, Senior Manager, Engineering Operations, STV Group, Incorporated
Kate Collignon, Partner, HR&A Advisors
David Dobkin, Acquisitions & Management, HK Organization
Petra T. Messick, Director, Gateway Program Planning Amtrak
Richard B. Miller, Vice President, Regulatory, Consolidated Edison Company of New York
Timothy O’Brien, Director of Compliance and Development, NYC Ferry, Operated by Hornblower
Robert Pirani, Director, NY-NJ Harbor & Estuary Program Hudson River Foundation
Caroline Samponaro, Head of Bike, Scooter & Pedestrian Policy, Lyft
Andrew Simons, Principal, Emphas!s Design
Michelle Young, Founder, Untapped New York
Brooklyn Greenway Initiative Staff
- Terri Carta, Executive Director
Terri Carta is a leader in public space stewardship and nonprofit management. As Executive Director of Brooklyn Greenway Initiative, Terri is responsible for driving forward the completion and long-term stewardship of the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway, realizing its full potential as a critical connector of people and neighborhoods, a component of New York City’s sustainability and resiliency plans, and a mechanism for community-based visioning and stewardship.
Terri’s career spans leadership positions in public engagement, community development, and leadership development, most recently developing the Central Park Conservancy Institute for Urban Parks where she served as its Associate Vice President. Terri previously coordinated community development, engagement, and education efforts for a watershed management project in Guinea, West Africa while serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer. Terri has an M.S. in Ecological Teaching & Learning and a B.S. in Conservation Biology.
Terri is passionate about advancing a multidisciplinary approach to improving urban environments and the greater public realm.
- Remy Schwartz, Director of Development & Administration
Remy Schwartz directs fundraising, partnerships, and administration for Brooklyn Greenway Initiative. He works closely with the Executive Director to build a diverse spectrum of support from businesses, government agencies, elected officials, nonprofit organizations, and private citizens. He is excited to complete the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway and help BGI grow into the future.
Remy previously managed institutional development and partnerships at The Battery Conservancy, coordinated volunteer projects at The Prospect Park Alliance, and oversaw business operations and growth at Hearken. He is a 2019 Environmental Leadership Program National Fellow, an NYC Citizen Tree Pruner, and a proud graduate of Hampshire College. He likes to surround himself with community and spend time outdoors as an avid cyclist, a runner, and a beginning-but-obsessive tennis player.
- Anna Bakis, Naval Cemetery Landscape and Stewardship Manager
Anna works with the staff at the NCL to maintain the space, engage visitors, and foster a thriving habitat for native plants and animals. She also works on BGI’s stewardship and greening projects along the greenway.
Anna grew up in Brooklyn and spent many of her formative days exploring plants and insects in whatever patch of greenery she could find in her home borough. She has worked in a variety of New York City’s green spaces throughout her career, from community gardens to NYC parks to botanical and school gardens. She is excited to bring her experience in horticulture, outdoor education, and public engagement to BGI.
- Anne Krassner, Brooklyn Greenway User Study Project Manager
Anne is working closely with the Executive Director and our partners to coordinate the design and execution of the study, thinking through the different uses of the Greenway, the neighborhoods it intersects, and how it’s impacted Brooklyn residents and businesses.
Anne is an urban planner who specializes in community-based planning and sustainable development, with an emphasis on social justice and dismantling systemic racism in public infrastructure, programs, and policies. She’s been a community organizer in NYC for 10 years, and was most recently leading the equity and community engagement efforts for Lyft’s Transit, Bikes, and Scooters division. She approaches projects with empathy and problem-solves using an equity lens, always asking: who leads, who benefits, and who is harmed by what we are trying to do. Outside of work, Anne expresses her creativity through baking and loves riding her bike around the City.
- Hagan Knauth, Naval Cemetery Landscape Associate
Hagan Knauth is an associate of the Naval Cemetery Landscape (NCL). He is responsible for informing visitors about the NCL, photographing, studying and tending to the plants and upkeep of the space. He appreciates that every square foot of the NCL features a plethora of lifeforms both above and below ground (insects, spiders, fungi, moths, worms, butterflies, ants, bees, and more). For this reason, he encourages visitors to slow down and take a closer look.
He is a strong advocate for the conservation and preservation of public land, and a firm believer in the therapeutic benefits of time spent outdoors. Originally from upstate New York, Hagan moved to Brooklyn to grow as a musician … however, the itch to be outdoors again has to lead him to split his time between the studio and the garden.
- Greg Topscher, Naval Cemetery Landscape Associate
Greg Topscher is an associate of the Naval Cemetery Landscape (NCL). He is responsible for connecting visitors to the natural and man-made history of the space, as well as working to maintain the delicate ecosystem of a reclaimed meadow and help it thrive.
He comes from a writing and art background and previously wrote and edited guides to the National Parks and Forests. He’s an enthusiastic amateur naturalist who grew up studying the birds at the backyard feeder. Prior to joining NCL Greg worked as Copy Editor and Writer for American Park Network. Greg is an owner and operator of a cut-paper stationery company and he has a Bachelor’s in English from The College of William and Mary.
- Leah Retherford, Naval Cemetery Landscape Associate
Leah Retherford is an associate of the Naval Cemetery Landscape (NCL) and works closely with the NCL team to steward the space and welcome visitors. Prior to joining the BGI team, she worked as the Project Manager at the NYC Compost Project hosted by Big Reuse and before that as the Farm Manager at the Queens County Farm Museum. She began urban gardening in Detroit in 2002 where she cofounded Birdtown Community Garden with Bashir Ali Hakim, and realized putzing in the garden is what she’s best at.
Shreema Mehta, Communications and Marketing
Charles Rubin, Information Technology
Jitasa, Bookkeeping and Accounting
What is the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway?
The Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway is a 26-mile landscaped route for pedestrians, runners and cyclists and will connect neighborhood parks and open spaces from Greenpoint to Bay Ridge.
Who is Brooklyn Greenway Initiative?
Brooklyn Greenway Initiative (BGI) is the 501c3 non-profit organization committed to the establishment, development and long-term stewardship of the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway. Founded in 2004, BGI works with community, business, and governmental partners to create and fulfill a comprehensive vision for the Greenway.
When will the construction of the Greenway be completed?
NYC DOT has identiﬁed 23 distinct capital projects along the Greenway. These projects will be implemented over time and as funding is made available and street reconstructions are scheduled. As DOT works to design, fund and construct the greenway route, Brooklyn Greenway Initiative and Regional Plan Association are working to create and improve new green spaces along the route and maximize the “green” in the Greenway.
When will the new green spaces be completed?
Two green spaces adjacent to the Greenway have been designed, of which the Naval Cemetery Landscape will be the first to be completed in Spring of 2016, followed by Columbia Waterfront Park (an interim native grass planting was completed in Spring 2014). Additional sites along the route are being identified for future green space.
How much is the total cost to build the Greenway?
The 23 capital projects that comprise the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway range in estimated cost from $1M to $20M each. These projects will be implemented over time, as funding is made available and street reconstructions are scheduled. 5 miles of the Greenway are currently in use, and 4 additional segments are now in design and engineering.
Who will pay for the Greenway?
BGI has already secured over $20M in federal funding allocated to construction of the Greenway, and we will continue to work to secure more. NYC DOT has committed to building the Greenway as funding is made available and street reconstructions are scheduled. BGI raises the funds for its own operating budget separately – you can help by becoming a BGI member.
Can I use the Greenway today?
Yes, six miles of the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway are already in place and include some of the most popular bicycle, running and pedestrian routes in the City. Altogether, this unique set of pathways, green spaces, and events taking place are transforming Brooklyn’s waterfront. View a map of the Greenway.
Founded in 2004, BGI works with community, non-profit, business, and government partners to create and fulfill a comprehensive vision for the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway, while at the same time building awareness and support among residents and employees who live and work along its route.
BGI raises funds to meet its operating budget through a mix of government, foundation, corporate and individual donations. BGI also helps secure capital funding for Greenway construction, but these funds do not underwrite BGI’s day-to-day operations, advocacy, and stewardship activities. You can support BGI by making a donation today!
Since its founding, BGI has channeled more than $218 million in public and private investment toward implementation of the Greenway and leveraged public and private investment of $2.38 million toward the creation of the Naval Cemetery Landscape as a new park-like space and memorial meadow adjacent to the Greenway at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
The 26-mile Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway is comprised of multiple NYC Capital Projects that draw from City, State, and Federal funding sources for their planning, design, and construction. Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway capital projects are managed by multiple NYC agencies based on their specific location, including NYC Department of Transportation, NYC Department of Design and Construction, NYC Parks, NYC Economic Development Corporation, Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation, and the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation.
BGI conceptualized and oversaw construction of the Naval Cemetery Landscape in 2014 – 2016 with capital funding from the TKF Foundation, NYS Department of State Environmental Protection Fund, and NYC Council Members Stephen Levin and Letitia James.
BGI hosts numerous public events and programs designed to activate the Greenway and Naval Cemetery Landscape, foster critical support and stewardship for this vital public infrastructure, garner much-needed commitments for the Greenway’s timely completion, and build awareness and engagement of BGI as the organization dedicated to their long-term care. BGI receives funding support for planning, programs, and operations from numerous government agency, foundation, and corporate partners.
American Transit Insurance Company
Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation
The Corcoran Group
The Durst Organization
Great Eastern Energy
Goldman Sachs & Co.
McLaren Engineering Group
MNS, Real Impact Real Estate
Natalie’s Orchid Island Juice Company
Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects
NYC Ferry operated by Hornblower
The O’Connell Organization
Park Tower Group – Greenpoint Landing
Persak & Wurmfeld
The Williamsburg Hotel
Two Trees Management
Lily Auchincloss Foundation
City Parks Foundation
The Raymond E. and Ellen F. Crane Foundation
The Charles Engelhard Foundation
The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
The O’Connell Organization Family Foundation
Bernard & Anne Spitzer Charitable Trust
The Weld Foundation
NYC Council Member Brad Lander
NYC Council Member Stephen Levin
New York State Energy Research and Development Authority
For more information about sponsorship opportunities, email Remy Schwartz, Director of Development and Administration.
We want to hear from you!
Your ideas and questions play an important role in shaping where the greenway will go, how it will be experienced and what we can do right now to better enjoy our waterfront.
Drop Us A Line
- Write, Call or Visit
- Brooklyn Greenway Initiative
- 153 Columbia Street
- Brooklyn, NY 11231
- p:718.522.0193 / f: 718.643.6736
- email: info(at)brooklyngreenway.org
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