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About BGI

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.

Beginning in 2004, BGI and planning partner Regional Plan Association (RPA) hosted initial public workshops along the Brooklyn waterfront to develop a Conceptual Plan. BGI and RPA then worked directly with NYC DOT to host additional workshops and develop the Implementation Plan for the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway, which was released to the public on June 21, 2012.

Today, the Greenway consists of 23 NYC DOT capital projects, spanning 14-miles from Greenpoint to Bay Ridge:

  • 6 miles of the Greenway are now available for public use.
  • 4 additional segments are now in design and engineering.
  • BGI is actively seeking funding to move more segments toward implementation.

Use The Greenway Now→

Maintaining the Greenway

Now that the Greenway is being implemented, BGI is planning for the long-term stewardship and
maintenance of the 14-mile route and numerous adjacent green spaces currently under development.

More About Maintaining The Greenway→

Green Spaces

BGI is working on the creation of new green spaces adjacent to the Greenway:

Naval Cemetery Landscape, developed in partnership with the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation.

Columbia Waterfront Park, a roughly two-acre property in the Columbia Waterfront District.

More About Green Spaces On The Greenway→

Programs & Events

BGI hosts a variety of events, tours and public programs throughout the year, including The Epic Ride, a  40 mile ride along the Brooklyn-Queens Waterfront, The Brooklyn Greenway Half, the only half marathon and 5K exclusively on the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway and a summer and fall benefit party.

Go to the Events Calendar →

BGI Staff

Brian McCormickDirector of Development and Administration

Brian hails from Mystic, CT, and 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.

Milton PuryearDirector of Project Development

Milton works 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.

Gabriel Rodriguez, Communications and Events Manger

Gabriel manages BGI’s events, communications and membership program and also oversees BGI’s volunteers corps of over 800 strong. Originally from San Juan, Puerto Rico Gabriel moved to NYC in 2008, starting his professional career in the non-profit Policy and Advocacy sector where he worked for the Committee for Hispanic Children and Families. In 2011, Gabriel started his own events and management agency before shifting his focus to more local and grass roots work.

Administration

  • Harry Kaplan, Information Technology
  • Leigh Guldig, Graphic Design
  • Joseph Herscher, Web Development
  • Ten Key Pros, Bookkeeping and Accounting

Board of Directors

  • Mikiyon Alexander
  • Michael Cairl
  • Scott Demel
  • Laurie Ginsberg
  • Daniel Kay
  • Annette Lang
  • Rich Miller
  • Sumner Pingree
  • Robert Pirani
  • Michael Porto
  • Milton Puryear
  • Amy E. Turner
  • Ted Weissberg

Partners

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 Office of Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams
  • The Horticultural Society of New York
  • The Green School
  • Red Hook Community Justice Center
  • And more…

What is the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway?

The Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway is a 14-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.

Brooklyn Greenway Initiative (BGI) raises funds to meet its operating budget through a mix of government, foundation, corporate and individual donations. BGI also helps to secure capital funding for Greenway construction, but these funds do not underwrite BGI’s day-to-day operations. You can support BGI by becoming a member today!

Capital Funding

Construction of the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway will be funded using federal, state and city capital funds. Prior to it becoming a NYC Capital project, $20 million in federal funding had been secured:

  • In 2005, $14.6 million in federal TEA-LU funding for design and construction of the Greenway and Bush Terminal Park was secured, sponsored by Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez;
  • In 2006, $3 million in federal capital funding was secured for the Brooklyn Navy Yard segment, through the Congestion Mitigation Air Quality program;
  • In 2008, $2.5 million in federal Transportation Enhancement Program (TEP) funding was secured for the West Street segment in Greenpoint, sponsored by NYC Department of Transportation (NYC DOT).
  • In 2008, marking a further milestone,  NYC DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan greed to sponsor the federal funding and build the Greenway;

Funding Put Into Action

Capital Funding has been matched by additional state, local and federal funding and used by NYC DOT for the following capital projects:

  • In 2007, NYC DOT built the first new permanent greenway segment on Columbia and Degraw Streets as a part of the $27 million Columbia/Van Brunt Streets Reconstruction Project.
  • West Street in Greenpoint, a $10 million DOT project plus $5 million in NYC Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) stormwater infrastructure.
  • Flushing Avenue, an $8 million NYC DOT Capital Project.
  • Hamilton/Third Avenues, a $10 million NYC DOT Capital Project
  • NYC  Economic Development Corporation (EDC) used a portion of Congresswoman Velazquez’s 2005 funding to build a segment of the greenway along Bush Terminal Piers Park.

BGI secured funding for the construction of the Naval Cemetery Landscape from the following:

  • NYC Council Members Steve Levin ($400,000) and Letitia James ($300,000)
  • TKF Foundation ($600,000)
  • NYS Department of State Environmental Protection Fund ($540,000)

In 2012, Council Member Brad Levin provided the funding for construction of the Class 1 greenway segment on Van Brunt Street between Degraw and Summit Streets. BGI installed the planting on this segment and seeded a 20-ft. strip along the Columbia Street greenway segment at the proposed Columbia Waterfront Park site with funding support from the NYS DOS EPF.

Program Funding

Brooklyn Greenway Initiative receives funding support for planning, programs and operations from the following government, foundation and corporate partners:

  • Government Partners
  • NYC Council Member Brad Lander
  • NYC Council Member Steve Levin
  • NYC Council Member Antonio Reynoso
  • NYC Council Member Carlos Menchaca
  • NYS Department of State Local Waterfront Revitalization Program under Title 11 of the NYS Environmental Protection Fund, sponsored by the Office of the Brooklyn Borough President
  • The Office of Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams
  • Foundation Partners
  • Lily Auchincloss Foundation, Inc.
  • NYC Environmental Fund
  • The New York Community Trust
  • Altman
  • TKF Foundation
  • Brooklyn Community Foundation
  • The Charles Engelhard Foundation
  • Booth Ferris Foundation
  • Corporate Partners
  • Con Edison

For more information about sponsorship opportunities, email Brian McCormick, Director of Development, or call 718.522.0193.

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.

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  • Write, Call or Visit
  • Brooklyn Greenway Initiative
  • 153 Columbia Street
  • Brooklyn, NY 11231
  • p:718.522.0193 / f: 718.643.6736
  • email: info(at)broolyngreenway.org

 

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