Monsignor McGolrick Park Restoration 2021-07-18T15:57:22+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 for North Brooklyn; and NYC Department of Parks and Recreation
2018 Project Partners: North Brooklyn Parks Alliance; and P.S. 110 The Monitor School
Project Location: Monsignor McGolrick Park
Total GCEF Funding: $794,011
2015 GCEF Grant: $562,056 2017 Budget Additions: $128,455
2018 GCEF Grant: $75,000 2019 Budget Addition: $17,500
2020 GCEF Grant: $11,000
Total Matching Contributions: $2,100,000
2015 Matching Contribution: $2,100,000
2015 & 2018 Project Completed: July 2019 2020 Project Completed: October 2020

In 2015, through a competitive process, the Horticultural Society of New York received a $562,056 GCEF grant (and provided $2.1 million in matching funds) to enhance and restore environmental and community amenities through five proposed activities in different areas of Monsignor McGolrick Park:

  1. Reconditioning a compacted lawn in the southeast area of the park by amending the soil, applying new topsoil, reseeding the turf with shade grasses, and installing temporary irrigation and fencing;
  2. Resetting pavers in the Central Pavilion area to direct rainwater runoff into an adjacent rain garden;
  3. Creating a native pollinators (e.g., bees, butterflies) sanctuary in the primary garden area of the park;
  4. Reconditioning the soil and restoring garden beds around the playground; and
  5. Restoring drainage at the dog run by removing dirty mulch, lowering the soil to below grade, installing drains, and backfilling with mulch.

Another final set of grant activities involved procuring equipment for long term park maintenance; conducting an environmental education program about the natural features of the park; creating a Citizen Gardener certification program; creating and updating a training manual to provide instructions on the maintenance requirements of the restored areas of McGolrick Park; holding cleanup events at the park; and implementing two “It’s My Park” days at McGolrick Park to encourage park-goers to learn more about park stewardship.

NOTE: The NYC Department of Parks and Recreation did not approve enhancement and restoration activities at the Central Pavilion or playground garden (the second and forth activities outlined above.) As an alternative, the Horticultural Society of New York redirected GCEF funds to restore and enhance the existing GCEF-funded “Urban Oasis” garden, including creating an educational rain garden. In addition to providing an educational experience to visitors, the rain garden will mitigate existing drainage concerns.

In 2017, after another competitive process, the Horticultural Society of New York received an additional $128,455 in GCEF funding to complete the restoration of the enhanced Urban Oasis garden in McGolrick Park. The final renovation activities included amending the soil; reducing or eliminating standing water caused by compacted soil; installing native shrubs, perennials and mulching; engaging community members as volunteers at planting events; and educating the community about sustainability and wildlife habitat.

In 2018, the Horticultural Society of New York was awarded another competitive grant of $75,000 from GCEF to maintain the revitalized areas of McGolrick Park with the help of a hired, part-time gardener; continue to train Citizen Gardeners; and offer environmental education programming to students and community members, including an Earth Day celebration and a walking tour about the birds and trees in the park.

Finally, in 2020, the Horticultural Society of New York was awarded an additional $11,000 to provide monthly horticultural maintenance at two sites in McGolrick Park: the Urban Oasis garden and the pollinator garden. Activities from July thru October 2020 included weeding, pruning, removal of invasive plants, picking up trash, amending the soil, mulching, and watering in the designated garden areas. The funds supported staffing costs, mulch, and maintenance supplies.

  • Renovated McGolrick Park’s “Urban Oasis” garden by restoring approximately 20,000 square feet of degraded park area, weeding invasive species, installing 700 native shrubs, and constructing a passive rain garden
  • Engaged 100 community volunteers in the Urban Oasis garden’s revitalization and maintenance
  • Eliminated stormwater run-off and standing water in the paved area adjacent to the Urban Oasis garden
  • Conducted ongoing horticultural maintenance from 2016 through Spring 2019 in the Urban Oasis garden including watering, weeding, pruning, removing invasive plants, amending soil, mulching, removing trash, and replanting native plants in designated garden sites
  • Renovated the McGolrick Park dog run and installed proper drainage to the area
  • Improved the soil condition of the southeast lawn
  • Procured equipment for long-term park maintenance
  • Hired a principal gardener for the period of the grant
  • Created and kept current a training manual providing instructions on the maintenance requirements of the restored areas of McGolrick Park
  • Created the Citizen Gardener Certification Program, which trained 3 gardeners in 2016 and another 6 gardeners in 2018
  • Conducted multiple community events, including an Earth Day 2018 event attended by 50 families; a walking tour about the birds and trees in the park attended by 60 students from P.S. 110 The Monitor; and a tree identification and care workshop attended by 25 members of the community
  • Delivered the 5-day-a-week “Young Naturalist Program” for 8 weeks during the 2017 and 2018 summers, which had over 1,500 children participate
  • Hosted school visits by P.S. 31 Samuel F. Dupont, P.S. 34 Oliver H. Perry, and P.S. 110, with 400 children and 100 teachers attending
  • Provided monthly horticultural maintenance from July thru October 2020 at 2 sites in McGolrick Park: the Urban Oasis garden and the pollinator garden