6 Ways to Take Care of Prospect Park’s Lake

July 11, 2022

July is Lake Appreciation Month, and Brooklyn’s only Lake needs our help to stay healthy and vibrant. Prospect Park’s 60-acre Lake is home to a wide range of fish, amphibians, birds, and home to a variety of beloved park activities. We’re sharing 6 ways that you can help care for the Prospect Park Lake with each visit to the park.

  • 1. Admire the Wildlife from Afar: We all love to watch the turtles and ducks that live in Prospect Park’s Lake, but please admire them from a respectful distance and do not feed them. The animals of Prospect Park have systems in place to find food naturally, which keeps them healthy and safe. When we feed park wildlife, it can attract animals to places they wouldn’t naturally go and can harm these beloved park dwellers’ health.


  • 2. Fish Responsibly: Please protect wildlife habitats for everyone’s enjoyment by following fishing rules. Remember that all fishing is catch-and-release and is allowed in designated areas only, and adults need a license from the NYS DEC. When not disposed of properly, fishing line can entangle birds and other wildlife and result in injury or death. Remember to discard fishing line fragments and hooks in marked fishing line bins or trash cans to keep park wildlife safe.


  • 3. Carry-In and Carry-Out Your Trash: Carry your trash, and anything else you bring into the park, out of the park with you! Dispose of your litter at home where you can recycle and compost it. Ensuring that no trash, debris, or other items are left behind helps keep our Lake healthy and our wildlife safe.


  • 4. Keep Dogs Leashed: Four-legged friends are great park companions. Make sure their visit to the park is positive for the park wildlife and natural areas by following dog-walking rules and safety tips. Remember that off-leash hours are from 6 am–9 am and 9 pm–1 am at the Long Meadow (except ballfields), Nethermead and Peninsula Meadow (except woodlands). At Dog Beach, dogs must be leashed at all times except during off-leash hours.


  • 5. Enjoy the Lake from a Rental Boat: Keep in mind that swimming and private boats are never allowed in Prospect Park’s Lake. Approved boats are available to rent at the LeFrak Center at Lakeside. Following these rules helps keep park-goers as well as the animals and plants of the Lake safe.


  • 6. Stay Safe: Please remember that while the Lake is a cherished part of Brooklyn nature, it is not intended for swimming. Please take caution when near any waterbody and only swim at city pools and beaches where and when lifeguards are on duty.

Be a Park Champion! The health of Prospect Park as a whole impacts the quality of our Lake and the wildlife who call it home. Learn about the many ways that you can #BeAParkChampion and commit to do your part to keep Brooklyn’s Backyard vibrant and healthy.

Visit our Park Champion page to learn more about our stewardship activities, and take the Park Pledge!