Monsignor McGolrick Park Restoration 2019-06-05T21:35:33+00:00

Project Description

Monsignor McGolrick Park Restoration

Project Lead: Horticultural Society of New York
2015 Project Partners: McGolrick Park Neighborhood Alliance; North Brooklyn Parks Alliance (formerly Open Space Alliance); and New York City Department of Parks and Recreation
2018 Project Partners: North Brooklyn Parks Alliance; and P.S. 110 The Monitor School
Project Location: Monsignor McGolrick Park
GCEF Grant: $562,056
Matching Contribution: $2,100,000
2017 Budget Additions: $128,455
2018 GCEF Grant: $75,000
2018 Matching Contribution: $0
2019 Budget Addition: $17,500
Fact Sheet: McGolrick Park Restoration PDF
Project Status: Ongoing

In 2015, the Horticultural Society of New York received a $562,056 GCEF grant (and provided $2,100,000 in matching funds) to enhance and restore environmental and community amenities in five proposed sections of Monsignor McGolrick Park. Major activities being funded by GCEF include:

  • Reconditioning a compacted lawn in the southeast area by remediating the soil, applying new topsoil, reseeding the turf with shade grasses, and installing temporary irrigation and fencing
  • Resetting pavers in the central plaza to direct rainwater runoff into an adjacent rain garden and install interpretive educational signs about green infrastructure in urban areas
  • Creating a native pollinator (e.g., bees, butterflies) sanctuary in the primary garden area of the park;
  • Reconditioning the soil and restoring garden beds around the playground
  • Restoring drainage at the dog run by removing dirty mulch, lowering the soil to below grade, installing drains, and backfilling with crushed gravel or mulch
  • Conducting an environmental education program about the natural features of the park
  • Creating a Citizen Gardener certification program
  • Implementing two “It’s My Park” planting and cleanup events at the improved park

In 2017, through a competitive process, the Horticultural Society of New York received an additional $128,455 to complete the restoration of the full Urban Oasis Garden in McGolrick Park. The renovation will result in:

  • Approximately 20,000 square feet of degraded park area designated as a bird sanctuary restored as the source of food, nesting material, cover, and habitat for over 260 species of migrating birds
  • The elimination of both stormwater run-off and standing water caused by compacted soil
  • The engagement of 100 community volunteers in the implementation and maintenance of the Urban Oasis Garden and 1000 community members in environmental education programs focused on sustainability and wildlife habitat

NOTE: The New York City Department of Parks and Recreation did not approve enhancement and restoration activities at the Playground Garden or the Central Pavilion, but as an alternative The Hort will be creating an educational rain garden in the Audubon garden area. The rain garden will provide significant mitigation to the existing drainage concerns and allow for educational experiences for visitors.

McGolrick Park Environmental Education Stewardship Project

In 2018, through a competitive process, the Horticultural Society of New York was awarded $75,000 in additional funding from GCEF to continue to provide active maintenance of environmentally sensitive areas restored under prior GCEF grants; and provide environmental education to students and community members.


August 2016: Through multiple meetings with the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, North Brooklyn Parks Alliance, and the McGolrick Park Neighborhood Alliance, the Horticultural Society of New York has arrived at a mutually agreeable work plan for one of the sections targeted for work in the park while work on the plans for the two additional sections (the dog run and central lawn) continues. Work to revitalize the native pollinator garden in the park, the first area of environmental significance that will be improved as part of the grant, commenced this summer.

August 2017: The Horticultural Society of New York completed the revitalization of the native pollinator garden at McGolrick Park, including planting perennials and mulching; a second planting will occur in the fall. The Horticultural Society of New York has also nearly completed the dog run renovation, including building mulched beds to protect existing trees and installing a new double-gated entry to prevent dogs from escaping as visitors enter or exit. A grand opening event is tentatively scheduled for the fall. The summer of 2017 also saw the start of weekly maintenance visits by one of the Horticultural Society of New York’s full-time gardening staff and educational programming at McGolrick Park five days a week for eight weeks, serving about 1,400 people in total. The Horticultural Society of New York is also planning an educational unveiling for the rain garden in the spring of 2018.

February 2018: With the completion of the dog run, park goers now have a new raised bed system around trees to protect roots, benches for people to sit, and gravel that is easier to clean and drain. Additionally, the design and construction of the passive rain garden was completed in October 2017, and over 2,000 pollinator-friendly perennials planted. The Horticultural Society of New York will once again host educational community workshops in Spring 2018.

February 2019: Over several weeks in August 2018, the Horticultural Society of New York removed trash and weeds from the south end of McGolrick Park’s Urban Oasis Garden, and graded and levelled the area. The area was planted with several hundred native perennial shrubs, grasses, and herbaceous plants. Afterwards, Horticultural Society staff mulched and arranged for watering of the area, while performing weekly weeding and maintenance tasks to ensure the health of the young plants.

At least once per week during the fall, Horticultural Society of New York maintenance staff pruned plantings, removed invasive species, amended and mulched the soil, and replanted damaged plants at the Urban Oasis Garden. They undertook similar activities in the native pollinator sanctuary in the primary garden area. Horticultural Society maintenance staff also spread mulch twice during the fall and winter to level the ground in McGolrick Park’s dog run.

Ten volunteers from the community participated in the “Fall Community Day,” during which these volunteers and Horticultural Society of New York staff cleaned up McGolrick Park, mulched street tree-pits around the park’s perimeter, and engaged community members in educational programming. The volunteers also participated in the Citizen Gardener program, conducted by Master Gardeners from the Horticultural Society of New York which offers training in gardening techniques, caring for plants and naturally control pests and disease, with two trainings taking place on October and November.