Building Resiliency on the Brooklyn Waterfront


ConSERVE NYC Volunteers Clear Ground for the Greenway

This weekend, 100 SCA volunteers joined up to build resiliency on the New York City waterfront by clearing ground for a new section of the Brooklyn Greenway.

The Brooklyn Greenway Initiative seeks to connect 14 miles of the Brooklyn waterfront from Greenpoint to Red Hook, providing a safe route for pedestrians and cyclists and incorporating green infrastructure along the way to ensure the long-term resiliency of the waterfront. This weekend the project got an infusion of volunteer energy from 100 ConSERVE NYC participants.

At Atlantic Avenue and Columbia Street, volunteers cut back English ivy that was strangling native trees, ultimately clearing a 10,000-square-foot area and bagging 68 garbage bags of vegetation. Farther south on Columbia Street, participants spread 120 cubic yards of compost donated by the New York Department of Sanitation, transforming an empty industrial lot into a new park space ready for spring planting.

“A huge amount of work got done,” said Milton Puryear, co-founder of the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative. “The participants were very motivated and worked really hard, and the leadership and organization of the event were impeccable. It was a joy to work with SCA on this project.”

Participants included student groups from all over the city, with contingents from St. John’s University, Global Kids, Green City Force, William C. Bryant High School, Stuyvesant High School, Eleanor Roosevelt High School, Lycée Français de New York, Nest+m High School, Mather Building Arts & Craftsmanship High School, and PS 89 Cypress Hills.

“The kids loved having the chance to get out here and get dirty,” said Melody Feo, a teacher at PS 89 Cypress Hills Community School in Brooklyn, who heard about the event through the Appalachian Mountain Club’s Youth Opportunities Program. “We’re definitely interested in future events.”

NYC Council Member Brad Lander also joined volunteers at the site, commending local students for their “incredible work” to transform the waterfront. “Turning this site into green space just makes sense,” he said, “and I love seeing young people involved. It’s a great thing for the community.”

— Ann Pedtke, SCA Marketing Outreach Coordinator

See more photos from the March 23rd event on the Brooklyn Greenway.

As part of the ConSERVE NYC initiative, SCA hosts public service events each month to engage the conservation community and build resiliency in New York City’s public lands. Register now for the next event on Saturday, April 19th celebrating Earth Day at Hudson River Park in Manhattan.