Access to the water and our beloved parks are two of the best things about living in North Brooklyn. However, we are also home to myriad environmental issues, from multiple Superfund sites, a legacy of environmental racism perpetrated by the presence of the BQE, raw sewage that is often dumped into our water, and a new National Grid pipeline.
This April, when temperatures are rising (somewhat) and those eponymous rain showers will soon bring Mayflowers, consider doing your part to give back to Mother Nature. With so many different opportunities offered by different community groups, there are many ways, big or small, to get involved. This list is by no means definitive – Greenpointers are certainly active stewards of the environment – but is intended to serve as a starting point from which to dive into the work.
For more inspiration, check out our roundup of community gardens in North Brooklyn.
North Brooklyn Parks Alliance
Consider becoming a sustainable donor to this all-encompassing local park organization.
On April 21st, NBK Parks is hosting its second virtual meetup of the year, a friendly and informative 90 minute session for everyone passionate about our green spaces to get involved, share ideas and meet like-minded neighbors.
On April 23, a unique Design Summit will give locals the opportunity to pitch for the improvements they’d like to see in the neighborhood. NBK Parks invites students, residents and business owners to submit their ideas for improving our green and open spaces. “Whether our ‘citizen planners’ were inspired to redesign the neighborhood’s street grid or just the trash on their block, we asked them to look at their submission holistically,” the event invitation reads. “Touching the benefits and the potential pitfalls. With a balanced green budget, can they design a neighborhood with less friction and more function?”
Some of our most unique green spaces are not visible from the street. Kingsland Wildflowers, atop the Broadway Stages building at 520 Kingsland Ave, opens its Friday hours on Earth Day, April 22.”[Newtown Creek Alliance] Staff will be onsite to conduct tours, answer questions about the roofs, provide educational resources on the environmental benefits of green roofs, and talk about all of our work at Newtown Creek.” Enjoy the sunset and get inspired to volunteer with the Newtown Creek Alliance. Or, if you’re ready to get started right away, come back the next morning at 11am for a Greenroof Care volunteer event
Opening hours are every Friday from 5pm to 8pm until June 24th.
McCarren Park Demonstration Garden
North Brooklyn Mutual Aid recently launched this new initiative as an “Open Space for Environmental Education and Climate Justice.” An inaugural meeting was held on March 28th and volunteer hours will start soon. Learn more here.
Our local Brooklyn Public Library branch also functions as an environmental education center. They frequently host events aimed at raising community awareness of sustainability and promoting an appreciation of our natural world.
The library is currently hosting the groundbreaking Lenapehoking exhibition which has inspired many of the events taking place this month. Topics will include a panel discussion on the Seed Rematriation Garden (April 14) and The Orchards of Lenapehoking, which will look at the historical agricultural practices of the Lenape people (April 28).
Bird lovers will enjoy birding events on April 16th and 23rd co-hosted by the Audubon Society.
North Brooklyn Compost Project
The North Brooklyn Compost Project is a volunteer-run, donation-based food waste disposal program. While curbside composting is increasing in our area, not everyone has access yet, so the North Brooklyn Compost Project is key to supporting this need.
They collect leftovers at McGolrick Park from 10am to 1pm and Transmitter Park from 11:30pm to 1pm on Sundays
Literally get your hands dirty and sign up as a volunteer here.