McCarren Park Urban Farms and Green Infrastructure Corridor 2019-06-11T18:38:49+00:00

Project Description

McCarren Park Urban Farms and Green Infrastructure Corridor

Project Lead: GrowNYC
Project Partners: GreenThumb; North Brooklyn Parks Alliance (formerly Open Space Alliance for North Brooklyn); and New York City Department of Parks and Recreation
Project Location: McCarren Park
GCEF Grant: $477,084
Matching Contribution: $471,160
2017 Budget Addition: $38,191
Fact Sheet: McCarren Park Urban Farms PDF
Project Status: Completed (January 2019)

In 2015, GrowNYC received a $477,084 GCEF grant (and provided $472,160 in matching funds) to create an urban farm and green infrastructure corridor in McCarren Park. The urban farm and green infrastructure corridor includes a rain garden, demonstration urban gardens, and a space for community events and environmental education activities for residents, schools, and community groups. Major GCEF-funded activities included:

  • Creating rain gardens
  • Installing model demonstration urban gardens to support programs about soil health, raised beds, and plants
  • Installing signs about environmental stewardship and conservation
  • Creating a “best practices” manual with information for Greenpoint residents about the principles and concepts used in the project
  • Conducting community programming, including site tours and workshops on building a garden and using green infrastructure (e.g., rain gardens and rainwater harvesting) in backyards, on roofs, and in community spaces, and using the urban farm to teach about environmental sustainability, energy, ecosystems, safe urban gardening practices, and more
  • Offering three on-site workshops for students (grades 5-12), teachers, and parents about energy, solar, earth science, and other topics
  • Providing a community event space, tours, and other workshops

In 2017, through a competitive process, GrowNYC was awarded an additional $38,191 in funding budget to install green roofs on 2 shipping containers used for storage inside the McCarren Park Demonstration Garden. Major activities funded by GCEF included:

  • Installing 320 square feet of green roof and one rainwater harvesting system
  • Installing a model green roof on the ground for easy viewing and education purposes
  • Creating a rainwater harvesting guide with information for Greenpoint residents about the principles and concepts used in the project
  • Holding ten related workshops
  • Built the 7,200 square foot McCarren Park Demonstration Garden and 6,170 square foot McCarren Park Green Infrastructure Corridor with signage about environmental stewardship and conservation.
  • Installed two green roofs outfitted with educational signage which created an educational tool for visitors.
  • Designed and installed a rainwater harvesting system.
  • Diverted 400,443 gallons of water from the combined sewer system per year (based on an annual rainfall of 47 inches) through its rain gardens and rainwater harvesting.
  • Produced and distributed a “Rainwater Harvesting Guide”, a practical how-to for building water harvesting systems in both community gardens and residential contexts.
  • Hosted 39 volunteer workdays with over 1000 volunteers.
  • Held a dozen workshops with over 150 participants on topics including rainwater system building, harvesting, and gardening, including a beneficial insect workshop for 30 schools in Greenpoint and beyond and a Greenpoint Eco-Schools Teacher Field Trip.
  • Continues to maintain an active presence at the site, hosting both community and school garden workshops while also allowing the three adjacent co-located middle and high schools to use the growing areas while school is in session.