Newtown Creek Wildflower Roof and Community Space AKA Kingsland Wildflowers 2020-03-07T08:59:30+00:00

Project Description

Newtown Creek Wildflower Roof and Community Space AKA Kingsland Wildflowers

Project Lead: New York City Audubon Society
2015 Project Partners: Newtown Creek Alliance; Alive Structures; Trout in the Classroom; and the Fortune Society
2018 Project Partners: Alive Structures; Broadway Stages; Green Roof Researchers Alliance – Education Focus Group; Newtown Creek Alliance
Project Location: 520 Kingsland Avenue
Total GCEF Funding: $1,234,241
2015 GCEF Grant: $971,782
2017 Budget Addition: $162,902
2018 GCEF Grant: $99,557
Total Matching Contribution: $2,645,490
2015 Matching Contribution: $2,571,840
2018 Matching Contributions: $73,650
Project Completed: July 2019

In 2015, through a competitive process, the New York City Audubon Society received a GCEF grant of $971,782 (and provided $2,571,840 in matching funds) to install a 21,711-square foot multi-level bird-friendly intensive green roof on the Broadway Stages building on Kingsland Avenue to reduce stormwater runoff, provide publicly-accessible green space, and create an outdoor education classroom and related environmental education programming for Greenpoint residents. Major GCEF-funded project activities included: planting the roof with biologically-diverse native plant species, and conducting monitoring to assess the biodiversity of the green roof and sharing results with the community. The project also provided educational programming for elementary and middle school educators and other educational programming, including tours, lectures, workshops and open houses, offered public access and eco-festival community days, created a stewardship and volunteer network for long-term roof maintenance, and conducted local “green-collar” job training in green roof installation and maintenance.

In 2017, through a competitive process, the New York City Audubon Society was awarded $162,902 in additional funding to extend horticultural maintenance of the green roof and continue further programming, including the annual fall festival, lectures and presentations in the community space, school and camp visits to the roof, public tours, a spring conference, and complementary printed interpretive materials. Further, the project website and social media platforms were enhanced and a strategic plan for the project’s continuation beyond the grant period was developed.

In 2018, again through another competitive process, the New York City Audubon Society was awarded $99,557 from GCEF to expand the current roof with an education garden, and to install a green wall for wildlife monitoring. All enhancements were intended to provide more green space and hands-on outdoor learning experiences. Funding also allowed for the enrichment of educational programming about the green roof, including the creation of green roof STEM curriculum.

The overwhelming success of this project inspired the development of more green roofs in Greenpoint. In January of 2019, Assemblymember Joe Lentol announced a $1.5 million New York State grant to Broadway Stages and its partner, Alive Structures, for the creation of additional green roofs, totaling 1.4 acres, on 3 of Broadway Stages sound stages in Greenpoint.

The project website can be found at:

Above: Photo 1 by Andrew Mass. Photos 2, 3 and 7 by Niki Jackson.

  • Designed and installed a green roof educational space by removing 21,700 square feet of impervious rooftop surface and installing a 21,711 square foot intensive green roof which prevents approximately 198,000 gallons a year of stormwater runoff
  • Designed and installed an additional 2,014 square feet of green roof as an “education garden”, including a green wall feature, colonization plot, and a green roof layer model, which prevents approximately 89,000 gallons a year of stormwater runoff
  • Used a total of 84,414 plants and 54.22 pounds of seeds
  • In 2017-2018, conducted 25 weeks of biodiversity monitoring for bats and birds using both an ARU (automatic recording unit) and traditional monitoring methods to be compared with findings from other city green roofs monitored by NYC Audubon, and discovered a comparatively diverse community
  • Presented wildlife monitoring to the community during the annual fall festivals, green infrastructure tours, 2 public lectures co-hosted by NYC Audubon and Atlas Obscura in summer 2018 and spring 2019, Newtown Creek Alliance’s 2019 culminating spring conference, community festivals, and a green roof information event hosted by Alive Structures and attended by local public officials
  • Gave 56 green infrastructure tours which educated over 1,000 participants about the benefits of green roofs
  • Held on-site conferences, festivals, and workshops for a total of 48 events, hosting over 3,867 people
  • Created the “Kingsland Wildflowers at Broadway Stages Green Roof Teacher’s Guidea green roof STEM curriculum available to educators
  • Held 15 educational program visits during the 2018-2019 school year
  • Provided training for a total of 44 educators at annual “Trout in Classroom” conferences from 2017-2019
  • Developed a sustainable maintenance plan including working with a local workforce of 25 trained volunteers
  • Developed a strategic plan for the sustainability of the roof and its programs
  • Inspired the creation of at least 3 additional industrial green roofs in Greenpoint
  • Provided green collar job training in green roof installation and maintenance to 25 volunteers

How a Rooftop Meadow of Bees and Butterflies Shows N.Y.C.’s Future (New York Times, October 26, 2019)

In Greenpoint, new waterfront parks will transform the Newtown Creek (Curbed New York, August 22, 2019)

While Congress Stalls, Some Organizations Take a Stand Against Climate Change (Thrive Global, August 7, 2019)

Lentol announces $1.5 million grant for 1.4 acre green roof (Brooklyn Daily Eagle, January 24, 2019)

Hundreds attend annual Kingsland Wildflowers Festival (Greenpoint Star, September 26, 2018)

VIDEO: Kingsland wildflowers, a rooftop oasis in Brooklyn’s industrial north (Brooklyn Daily Eagle, August 8, 2018)’s Project of the Week: July 16, 2018 (, July 17, 2018)

Plant People: Five ecoartists relandscape our concrete jungle (The Cut, June 25, 2018)

Kingsland Wildflowers: One Step Ahead to Sustainability (Greenpoint Star, January 10, 2018)

Brooklyn’s Little-Known Kingsland Wildflowers Is a Rooftop Oasis for NYC Wildlife (Untapped Cities, January 2, 2018)

Kingsland Wildflowers (Atlas Obscura, November 23, 2017)

A rooftop urban oasis springs to life in a polluted NYC neighborhood (Inhabitat, August 25, 2017)

Newtown Creek Wildflower Roof (Open House New York, October 5, 2016)

Kingsland Wildflower Festival offers first look at new Greenpoint rooftop garden (Brooklyn Reporter, September 26, 2016)

Come to Brooklyn on Sept 24 for the Kingsland Wildflower Festival and the Grand Opening of a Green Rooftop! (, September 19, 2016)

Greenpoint rooftop is seeing some real green (Brooklyn Reporter, September 13, 2016)

This roof wants to bring butterflies and birds to the toxic sludge ( Brooklyn, August 31, 2016)

Wildflower Roof to Bring Birds and Butterflies to Industrial Greenpoint (DNA info, August 26, 2016)