Creating Green Buffers in the Greenpoint Industrial Area: A Community Planning Initiative 2018-03-28T10:56:52+00:00

Project Description

Creating Green Buffers in the Greenpoint Industrial Area: A Community Planning Initiative

Project Lead: New York City Soil and Water Conservation District
Project Partners: New York City Audubon Society; McGolrick Park Neighborhood Alliance; and Evergreen: Your North Brooklyn Business Exchange
Project Location: Industrial area bounded by Norman Avenue, Nassau Avenue, Kingsland Street and Van Dam Street
GCEF Grant: $97,675
Matching Contribution: $28,472
Fact Sheet: Creating Green Buffers PDF
Project Status: Ongoing

In 2015, the New York City Soil and Water Conservation District received $97,675 of GCEF funding (and provided $28,472 in matching funds) to engage Greenpoint business owners and operators, and residents in a planning initiative for the industrial area of Eastern Greenpoint that focuses on creating more natural habitats and “green infrastructure” (i.e., in ground planting, above ground planters, green walls, etc.) in the community and reducing the amount of stormwater entering the sewer system. Major project activities include:

  • Conducting education and outreach, such as fact sheets and walking tours, to introduce residents and businesses to the problems associated with stormwater, the benefits of green infrastructure, and the value of natural habitats for native birds and plants
  • Recruiting residents and members of the business community to participate in a collaborative planning process to guide and direct the project
  • Conducting project surveys and compiling existing environmental data for the project area to inform siting of potential natural habitats and green infrastructure
  • Developing a plan with potential project implementation strategies (permitting, funding, local capacity, etc.)
  • Conducting a public meeting for community members, businesses and public officials to share the resulting plan for adding additional natural habitats and green infrastructure in Greenpoint

October 2016: New York City Soil and Water Conservation District has been meeting with project partners to develop a workplan for the outreach and education component of the project. Work has begun on 4 fact sheets, 2 produced by New York City Audubon, with drafts of all expected in early 2017. The first of 4 planned walking tours took place in October as part of OpenHouse NY, with 30 participants touring the Newtown Creek Water Pollution Control Plant and the nearby Newtown Creek Wildflower Greenroof. A tour of McGolrick Park, focusing on the importance of native plants for bird habitat and stormwater management, is planned for early 2017. Representatives from New York City Soil and Water Conservation District have also attended public events such as Go Green! Brooklyn, a Community Board 1 Parks Waterfront Committee meeting, EcoFest at the Newtown Creek Wildflower Greenroof, and the GCEF Community Open House, to educate participants about the problems of stormwater runoff, and the benefits of green infrastructure and natural habitats. A project consultant has been selected, allowing the planning of stakeholder meetings to proceed in 2017.

August 2017: New York City Soil & Water Conservation District hosted their second community event on May 10th – the event offered a tour of the Kingsland Wildflowers green roof followed by a lecture by Dr. Eric Sanderson on the geography and ecology of the Newtown Creek watershed. The event was attended by more than 70 people. The District also held their first community workshop on May 14th at the Greenpoint Public Library where members of the Greenpoint community identified sites for potential greening projects. The interactive workshop and its 14 community participants generated a map of the study area with potential locations marked for green roofs, tree pits, green walls, and rain water harvesting. The map was then shared with area businesses through door to door outreach. The District contacted more than 100 businesses, met with dozens of business owners and managers and identified a dozen or so businesses with an interest in greening projects. Water Quality and Green Infrastructure fact sheets have also been completed as part of the business outreach. After the draft plan is completed, the District will schedule the second workshop to introduce the plan and solicit further input from the community members.

February 2018: New York City Soil & Water Conservation District and the NYC Audubon hosted two events in October.  The first event was a neighborhood walk in the project area for the purpose of identifying potential sites for green infrastructure.  These sites were identified by the participants of the May 2017 workshop as well as a “desktop analysis” of the project area.  The second event was a bat walk through McGolrick Park with a bat expert; no bats were spotted, but participants learned a great deal about bats in urban environments. The bat walk was attended by more than 20 people, including many children.