Newtown Creek Wildflower Roof and Community Space 2018-01-09T12:56:52+00:00

Project Description

Newtown Creek Wildflower Roof and Community Space

Project Lead: New York City Audubon Society
Project Partners: Newtown Creek Alliance; Alive Structures; Trout in the Classroom; and the Fortune Society
Project Location: 520 Kingsland Avenue
GCEF Grant: $971,782
Matching Contribution: $2,571,840
Fact Sheet: Newtown Creek Wildflower Roof PDF
Project Status: Ongoing

In 2015, the New York City Audubon Society received $971,782 (and provided $2,571,840 in matching funds) to install a 21,711-square foot (comprised of 4 different levels), bird-friendly intensive green roof to reduce polluted stormwater, provide publicly-accessible green space, and create an outdoor education classroom and related environmental education programming for Greenpoint residents at the Broadway Stages building on Kingsland Avenue. Major GCEF-funded project activities include:

  • Planting the roof with biologically-diverse native plant species
  • Conducting multi-parameter monitoring to assess green roof biodiversity characteristics and sharing results with the community
  • Providing educational programming for elementary and middle school educators who will participate in a “Trout in the Classroom” conference, and learn about the site as an outdoor classroom
  • Conducting additional educational programming, including tours, lectures, workshops (e.g., “Weather in the Watershed”), and open houses, and offering public access and eco-festival community days
  • Developing and implementing a sustainable maintenance plan that will include creating a stewardship and volunteer network for long-term roof maintenance
  • Conducting local “green-collar” job training in green roof installation and maintenance

The project website can be found at:

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


August 2016: Phase one of construction for the first 2 roofs has been completed. A combined 7,066 square feet have been installed with protective layers of plastic and felt. Both drainage systems and irrigation lines were then laid under 2 inches of gravel and an additional 5 to 8 inches of soil covering the entire roofs. Stonemasons have fashioned bluestone pathways and patios for visitor access. Based on calculations, this first phase of covered roofs has the capacity to capture over 10,740 gallons of storm water per one-inch storm. On September 24th, the new “Greenroof and Community Engagement Center” located at the Broadway Stages building was opened to the public.

August 2017: The remaining 10,000 square feet of green roof covering was installed, which finalized the 22,000 square foot green roof. Bird monitoring and data collection is ongoing. NYC Audubon hosted several programming events including a tour for the LES Ecology Center and a PS 34 Eco-Families Tour. Beginning in September, Kingsland Wildflowers presents a monthly artist lecture series featuring local Greenpoint artists who have created environmentally-focused bodies of work.