What We’re Planting in the Park This Spring

April 13, 2022

Spring has sprung in Prospect Park! Prospect Park Alliance gardeners and volunteers are putting on their gardening gloves and preparing for our seasonal planting. This spring, our Landscape Management team is preparing to add 10,953 plants to the park, including: 171 trees, 338 shrubs, and 10,499 herbaceous plugs.

Prospect Park comprises 585 acres of rolling meadows, waterways and woodlands in the heart of Brooklyn, and is home to the borough’s only lake and last remaining forest. This landscape, beloved by Brooklynites, is also an essential wildlife habitat and hosts 250 species of birds and other important flora and fauna. For over 30 years, Prospect Park Alliance has overseen the park’s natural areas, and major improvements have been made to the entire park ecosystem. This spring’s plantings continue this essential work to keep the park green and vibrant.

Many of the new trees will be planted as part of the Alliance’s Commemorative Giving program, an opportunity for the public to donate a tree to the park in honor of a loved one or for a special occasion. These additions help replace lost trees and ensure the ecological health of the park.

These trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plugs are destined for areas throughout Prospect Park. The southern shore of the Peninsula will receive native wetland plants in an effort to prevent the further erosion of the Lake edge and the expansion of the invasive phragmites, while creating a visually appealing native waterfowl habitat. At the Butterfly Meadow atop Lookout Hill, volunteers have done extensive work clearing the area of undesirable invasive plants to make way for more beneficial species.

One of the spring’s largest plantings will take place in the landscape surrounding the LeFrak Center at Lakeside. Alliance staff have been hard at work this winter experimenting with sheet mulching in anticipation of the new plant additions in the area. “It will be interesting to see how the sheet mulching works,” says Ecozone Gardener AJ Logan. “Even before we plant new things we are already seeing some of both our friends and foes of the plant world sneaking in around the edges of the cardboard.”

The plantings at Lakeside will include a variety of species well suited for our area, and selected for their ecological benefits within our ecosystem. One addition, the Red Chokecherry, (Aronia arbutifolia), is a native shrub in the rose family with attractive white flowers in the spring and intense red and orange foliage in the fall. Its pollen and nectar provide food for native pollinators, and its berries are a winter source of food for birds. Another, Sweet pepperbush (Clethra alnifolia), has fragrant, bottle-brush like blooms of white flowers that attract a variety of pollinators in the summer.

The most important way the public can help these new plantings? “I’d like for visitors to know that when people and pets go into the horticultural beds, they can easily damage plants, particularly young perennials, and can contribute to soil compaction and erosion,” says Lakeside Lead Eco Zone Gardener Corbin Laedlein. “Please don’t wander into the beds and keep your dogs leashed at Lakeside.”

The sentiment is echoed by Eco Zone Gardener Jesse Brody, “with continued hard work, time and resources, I’m hopeful that we can get the LeFrak greenroof back to its pre-Covid state of being a landscape that serves important ecological functions and appears more worthy of the public’s respectful treatment.”

Learn more about Prospect Park Alliance’s work to sustain the environment.

NYC Parks / Daniel Avila

Alliance Breaks Ground on Parade Ground Fit

April 12, 2022

New York City Council Member Rita Joseph joined Prospect Park Alliance Interim President James Snow and community members to break ground on Parade Ground Fit. The project is a District 40 participatory budgeting initiative that won popular support from local residents. The $525,000 project transforms the southwest corner of the Prospect Park Parade Ground into a community space that supports health and wellness in the neighborhood.

Editor’s Note: find photos at www.prospectpark.org/parade-ground-fit-groundbreaking  

The project will transform the southwest corner of the Prospect Park Parade Ground into a community gathering and gaming space. The area will feature new ping-pong tables, a refurbished petanque area and game tables. Additionally, new benches will be installed and the tree-filled area will be landscaped with new plantings.

“The opening of the Parade Ground Fit shows the power of Participatory Budgeting. When communities are able to directly decide how their money is spent, real improvements are made. That’s why I am so excited for our neighbors to be able to use this PB project,” said New York City Council Member Rita Joseph.

“Parade Ground Fit is an exciting project that will create a beautiful space for all New Yorkers to gather and enjoy. During the height of the pandemic, our outdoor spaces were vital for communities, especially those who simply wanted some fresh air,” said Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit Commissioner Fred Kreizman. “This project delivers on just that, and we’re thrilled for New Yorkers of all ages to enjoy a game of ping-pong with the new game tables.”

“We are excited to partner with Prospect Park Alliance and break ground on the new Parade Ground Fit, an area dedicated to adult fitness complete with revamped petanque courts and new ping-pong tables. We know how important access to health and wellness is to all communities,” said NYC Parks Brooklyn Borough Commissioner Martin Maher. “We look forward to the completion of this project and to celebrating what this new resource will mean to the neighborhood.”

“This corner of the Parade Ground will be a great neighborhood enhancement, and builds on our Adult Fitness Area in the northeast section of the Parade Ground, which was also funded through District 40 Participatory Budgeting, and the nearby Kensington Dog Run,” said James Snow, Interim President of Prospect Park Alliance. “Thanks to the support of local residents and Council Member Joseph, the Alliance is looking forward to bringing the community’s vision for this space to life.”

The Prospect Park Parade Ground is one of Brooklyn’s most popular recreational areas, with 40 acres of baseball, tennis, soccer and football fields for local schools, leagues and clubs for children and adults, as well as basketball, netball and volleyball courts. The Parade Ground also features the Stewart Playground, the Prospect Park Tennis Center, the Kensington Dog Run, and the seasonal Time Out Snack Bar, a full-service concession stand with picnic and seating areas. The Parade Ground Fit project joins other recent improvements to the area, including the Adult Fitness Area and the Kensington Dog Run.

For more information about capital improvements in Prospect Park, visit www.prospectpark.org/tracker.  

Prospect Park Alliance Announces New Food Options in Prospect Park

April 6, 2022

Prospect Park Alliance, the non-profit that sustains Brooklyn’s Backyard, has announced a new food and beverage concession coming to the Prospect Park Picnic House: WINNER, a Brooklyn-based restaurant group, will open a cafe in the lower level of the Picnic House, which is located on the park’s Long Meadow.

The cafe will offer baked goods, sandwiches, beverages and picnic meals, and will open in early May. Service will kick off with breakfast, and additional hours will be rolled out weekly until Memorial Day when hours will be 7 am–9 pm daily. WINNER will operate in Prospect Park through December.

“The park is an essential resource for our community, and we know that Prospect Park patrons want more food options to enhance their park experience,” said James Snow, Prospect Park Alliance Interim President. “We’re excited to welcome this amenity and we are confident that our community will welcome having WINNER in the park to add to our other food offerings.”

“One of the pillars of WINNER is to create something for everyone,” said WINNER Owner and Founder Daniel Eddy. “Be it pre-run or post-run, with family or friends, or a solo walk just to commune with nature, WINNER at the Picnic House will have something for everyone.”

WINNER was founded by Chef Daniel Eddy, who opened the Park Slope outpost days before the shutdown in March 2020. Despite the obstacles, WINNER quickly became a beloved neighborhood institution, frequently featuring lines out the door for their baked goods and chicken dinners. WINNER in Prospect Park will offer many of their coveted Park Slope menu items, including pastries, coffee, sandwiches, and rotisserie chicken.

Last year, Prospect Park Alliance issued a Request For Proposals for interesting and affordable food options in the park as part of its mission to improve the visitor experience in the park for the community. In addition to WINNER, the Alliance has brought King David Tacos to Grand Army Plaza, Smorgasburg to Breeze Hill, Bluestone Cafe to Lakeside, as well as the Mohammed Islam Hot Dog Cart to the Ballfields.

Learn more about food options at prospectpark.org/food.

c. Sam Hollenshead

Smorgasburg Returns for 2022 Season

March 21, 2022

Everyone’s favorite outdoor food market is back in Prospect Park! Kicking off the season on April 3, Smorgasburg Prospect Park is  back every Sunday through October on Breeze Hill .

This long-standing market, presented in partnership with Prospect Park Alliance, features more than 60,000 square feet of lawns and open space, a full bar, 50 food vendors, and crowds of hungry customers, ready to sample flavors from across the globe.

While many of last year’s favorite vendors are returning to Prospect Park, this year’s crop of vendors features exciting new additions:​

  • 2 Girls Cookshop: Jamaican-inspired tacos from mother/daughter duo Jataun & Shelly Flash (Brooklyn, NY)
  • Birria LES: Tijuana-style tacos by a trio of childhood LES friends (Lower East Side, NYC)
  • Black Rican Vegan: Puerto Rican-inspired vegan dishes by Lyana Blount (Bronx, NY)
  • Frubae: Hawaiian-Taiwanese fusion frozen fruit treats by Perry Sherman (Long Island, NY)
  • Kinoko: New Orleans-style plant-based sushi by Kelseay Reed (New Orleans, LA)
  • Last Call Mixology: Fresh-pressed, small-batch cocktail mixers and mocktail bar by former La Esquina bartender Victor Castellanos (South Orange, NJ)
  • Mama’s Cupboard: Thai-Vietnamese banh mi and pad thai by Tayaporn Snidyongs na Ayudhaya (New York, NY)
  • Rolle Drinks: Fresh-pressed Jamaican ginger + coconut drinks by Omiel Novado Morgan (Brooklyn, NY)
  • Smashed NYC: LES smash-burger hit by Mark Mendaros + Jamie Chester (Lower East Side, NYC)
  • Sunday Coffee & Conscious Eatery: Plant-based seasonal plates by Christian Torres (Miami, FL)
  • Sweet Reunion: Soulful dishes inspired by the Black American experience by Will Coleman and Terence Harvey (New York, NY)

Learn more about Smorgasburg and plan your visit. 

Spring Break at the Prospect Park Audubon Center

March 17, 2022

Enjoy your Spring Break with Prospect Park Alliance from April 15 – April 22. Visit Prospect Park for family-friendly activities at Prospect Park Audubon Center.

Nature Exploration
Thursdays + Fridays 12–4 pm
Prospect Park Audubon Center, Free

Join Prospect Park Alliance for nature education programs at the Prospect Park Audubon Center, the first urban Audubon Center in the nation.

  • Discovery Pack, 12–3 pm: Come explore nature on your own with our Discovery Packs, a backpack filled with nature activities and exploration tools, perfect for families and kids to interact with the park in a whole new way!
  • Animal Encounter, 2–3 pm: Join Alliance Naturalists in learning more about the animals in the Audubon Center’s collection. This program starts promptly at 2 pm.
  • Family Bird Walk, 3–4 pm: Prospect Park is a stopping point for hundreds of bird species each year! Join us as we search for these amazing creatures and other nature around the park. Binoculars and bird guides are provided. This program departs from the Audubon Center promptly at 3 pm.

Nature Exploration
Saturdays + Sundays, 10 am–1 pm
Prospect Park Audubon Center, Free

Join the Prospect Park Alliance for nature education programs at the Prospect Park Audubon Center, the first urban Audubon Center in the nation.

  • Discovery Pack, 10 am–12 pm: Come explore nature on your own with our Discovery Packs, a backpack filled with nature activities and exploration tools, perfect for families and kids to interact with the park in a whole new way!
  • Animal Encounter, 11 am–12 pm: Join Alliance Naturalists in learning more about the animals in the Audubon Center’s collection. This program starts promptly at 11 am.
  • Nature’s Helpers, 12–1 pm: Help do your part to keep Prospect Park healthy by cleaning up the lakeshore. In this citizen science activity Audubon staff will guide groups to remove litter and record the findings. Fun for all ages and all materials are provided. This program departs from the Audubon Center promptly at 12 pm.
c. Martin Seck

Celebrate Olmsted’s 200th Birthday

March 16, 2022

2022 marks the 200th birthday of Frederick Law Olmsted, co-designer of Prospect Park and renowned father of American landscape architecture! To celebrate, Prospect Park Alliance is hosting a variety of events in partnership with Olmsted 200, an initiative hosted by the National Association for Olmsted Parks, in appreciation and exploration of Olmsted’s legacy. Join us for virtual and in-person events to celebrate Olmsted in April and May:

Frederick Law Olmsted: Landscapes for the Public Good Exhibit
Saturday, April 23 – Sunday, May 29 (Thursdays + Fridays 12 pm – 4 pm, Saturdays + Sundays 10 am – 1 pm)
Boathouse, Free

Learn more about Olmsted’s important work by viewing Frederick Law Olmsted: Landscapes for the Public Good, an exhibit that focuses on his life story, major landscape commissions and their relevance to contemporary society.  This exhibit, which will be up through the end of May, was created as part of a partnership with the National Association for Olmsted Parks, the Olmsted 200 campaign, and the Oak Spring Garden Foundation. Stop by the Prospect Park Boathouse Thursday — Sunday (times vary) to visit in-person or take a virtual tour of the exhibit.

Olmsted 200: Lungs of the City—Olmsted’s Parks in Music
Saturday May 28, 12 – 1 pm
Boathouse, Free, Registration Required

Join Prospect Park Alliance and the American Wild Ensemble for Lungs of the City: Olmsted’s Parks in Music is a program of new chamber music commemorating the 2022 bicentennial of the birth of Frederick Law Olmsted. In this concert, American Wild Ensemble, a septet of winds, strings, and percussion, will perform eight new works inspired by Olmsted-designed parks including Brooklyn’s Prospect Park and Manhattan’s Fort Tryon Park. The program includes newly commissioned works by composers Oliver Caplan, Nell Shaw Cohen, Michael-Thomas Foumai, Libby Meyer, Ayumi Okada, Justin Ralls, Christina Rusnak, and Ryan Suleiman. Lungs of the City: Olmsted’s Parks in Music is a cross-regional concert series of world premieres co-curated and co-commissioned by American Wild Ensemble, Juventas New Music Ensemble, Landscape Music, and Michigan Technological University Department of Visual and Performing Arts.

Past Olmsted 200 Events:

Olmsted 200: Parks in Conversation—Virtual Tour of Central Park and Prospect Park
Tuesday, April 12, 12:30 – 1:15 pm
$10, Registration Required

Join Prospect Park Alliance and Turnstile Tours for a virtual tour in celebration of Frederick Law Olmsted’s 200th birthday that explores two of his New York City masterpieces—Central Park and Prospect Park. Central Park guides will highlight the park’s arches, meadows, and natural features, while Turnstile Tours guides will examine parallel features in Prospect Park and compare and contrast the different elements of the parks, including examples of Olmsted designs that have been adapted to fit better with modern-day recreational uses and ecological practices. Built a decade apart, the parks share many similarities, but also reflect Olmsted’s evolution as a park designer, and both speak to his lasting influence on landscape design and public space.
Learn more and RSVP for a tour.

B’Earthday Bash
Saturday, April 23, 1 – 4pm
Prospect Park Audubon Center

Join Prospect Park Alliance for a fun and festive day in the park—we’ve got a lot to celebrate! It’s Earth Day, the Prospect Park Audubon Center’s 20th Anniversary, and the birthday of two legends: naturalist John James Audubon, and… the 200th anniversary of the birth of landscape architect and Prospect Park’s creator, Frederick Law Olmsted!

Celebrate with activities for all ages that celebrate the historic and environmental importance of Prospect Park, Brooklyn’s slice of nature and home to a thriving ecosystem of hundreds of species of plants and animals, 30,000 trees, Brooklyn’s only lake and last remaining forest.

Olmsted 200: Parks in Conversation—Prospect Park Walking Tour
Saturday, April 23, 11 am – 12:30 pm
Sunday, April 24, 3 – 4:30 pm
Prospect Park, Prices Vary, Registration Required

Join Prospect Park Alliance and Turnstile Tours on Frederick Law Olmsted’s 200th birthday with a special tour celebrating his two New York City masterpieces—Prospect Park and Central Park. Prospect Park’s Turnstile Tours guides will be joined by guides from Central Park to explore Olmsted’s unique vision and legacy while comparing and contrasting the two parks and what they tell us about his evolution as a designer over the decade separating their construction. Built in different geographical and political contexts, Prospect Park and Central Park share many similar structures hallmarks—varied terrain and meandering paths to spark curiosity, grand vistas to inspire awe—that speak to Olmsted’s lasting influence on landscape design and public space, elements we continue to appreciate and benefit from today.
Tours will be held on Saturday April 23, 11am–12:30pm and Sunday, April 24, 3pm–4:30pm.
Learn more and RSVP for a tour. 

Black History Spotlight: Otto Neals’ Peter & Willie

February 17, 2022

Otto Neals, a Brooklyn resident and one of the first Black artists to have work featured in a New York City park, has a remarkable knack for bringing stories to life. Neals is the sculptor behind Peter & Willie, the beloved statue of a boy and his dog in Prospect Park’s Imagination Playground, located along Ocean Avenue just south of the Lincoln Road entrance to the park. Since its installation in 1997 as part of the Alliance’s complete reconstruction of this playground, Peter & Willie has been a source of joy, fun and inspiration to countless families.

Neals has discussed his inspiration for the piece and his connection to Peter and Willie, the two protagonists of Ezra Jack Keats’ stories The Snowy Day and Peter’s Chair. In a 2021 interview with Current News, Neals recalled fond memories of reading Keats’ work with his kids, but being puzzled by the story of a Black boy told by a white author and illustrator.

Christian Zimmerman, Vice President of Capital and Landscape Management for Prospect Park Alliance, oversaw the project and worked closely with Neals. “Prospect Park Alliance and the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation wanted to recognize the storybook characters from Keats’ work, so we had a competition to select an artist for the job,” Zimmerman recounts, “and the select committee was really taken by Otto’s concept.”

Imagination Playground is a hub for imagination and creativity. “It is a very special type of playground, and not a playground in the traditional sense. There aren’t any swings or moving play equipment. It is really intended for children 6 and under, and it’s about (embracing) storytelling,” Zimmerman expressed. Neals’ proposed vision for Peter & Willie fit seamlessly with this intention.

Once installed, the sculpture was immediately and wholeheartedly embraced by the community. “The bronze piece’s original patina was a deep dark blue…and if you rub bronze, eventually the patina goes away. The very first place the deep blue disappeared was on Peter’s ears,” Zimmerman recalls. “Otto designed it in a way that was so accessible that children would sit down next to Peter and tell him secrets. They would whisper in his ear, and have conversations with Peter. They still do!” From the boulder the characters are perched upon, to the scale of the characters themselves, each element of Peter & Willie’s stature is intentional and has informed the community’s long standing connection to the piece and to Imagination Playground.

As a self-taught artist, Neals has said, “My talent as an artist comes directly from my ancestors. I am merely a receiver, an instrument for receiving some of the energies that permeate our entire universe and I give thanks for having been chosen to absorb those artistic forces.” Neals is committed to creating art for his Brooklyn community, and has succeeded in providing inspiration and art in Brooklyn’s Backyard.

Neals and Zimmerman and the project’s contractor in 1996 en route to select the boulder where Peter and Willy sit today. Photo courtesy of Christian Zimmerman.

Now in his 90s, Neals continues to inspire artists in Brooklyn and beyond to create community-centered work and has provided generations of families and kids with joy and fun through Peter & Willie. The piece is an honorary Literary Landmark in partnership with the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation and is a steadfast cherished destination and source of inspiration in Brooklyn’s backyard.

Learn more about the Park’s 7 playgrounds and things to do with children. 

c. Corbin Laedlein

Winter Work—Prepping for Spring Plantings at Lakeside

February 16, 2022

If you’ve visited the area around the LeFrak Center at Lakeside recently, you may have noticed Alliance gardeners hard at work and wondered, “what’s going on?” For weeks, dedicated staff and volunteers have been laying down cardboard and piles of leaves in an attempt to nip a persistent spring problem in the bud.

“In some areas we’re fighting a battle against the weeds and their seeds,” says Corbin Laedlein, Lakeside Lead EcoZone Gardener. Lakeside’s planted landscape is carefully managed to sustain wildlife and support the native ecosystem—but invasive and opportunistic plants can quickly outcompete the beneficial species. To combat the unwanted plants, Laedlein is overseeing large-scale “sheet mulching,” a technique being employed by the Alliance’s Lakeside gardeners in preparation for new plantings in the area come spring. “The main weeds we are suppressing are Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris), Bedstraw (Galium aparine), Vetch (Coronilla varia) and Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense),” says Laedlein.

The Lakeside EcoZone team, which includes Laedlein and EcoZone Gardners Jesse Brody, AJ Logan and Christopher Pierce, first conducted a good deal of prep work to clear the targeted areas of these invasive plants and their root systems, then placed  a layer of cardboard to fully cover the soil. A layer of freshly-fallen leaves from park trees, gathered by Prospect Park’s Turf Crew, provided a layer of mulch to spread on top of the cardboard. By spring, the materials will have begun to decompose, and the gardeners will poke holes through the cardboard where new seedlings will be planted—ideally without the competition of the weeds, and benefiting from the fresh mulch.

By employing an eco-friendly weed-suppression method, Lakeside gardeners are avoiding the application of harmful chemicals in the park—an important goal for the Alliance’s Landscape Management team. In recent years, similar innovative thinking has seen the introduction of goats to clear invasive plants on steep slopes and ladybugs to tackle a harmful lace bug infestation. “Sheet mulching is super labor-intensive work,” says Laedlein, “and this large project couldn’t have been accomplished without the Alliance’s Lakeside EcoZone Gardeners, Alliance Volunteers, the City Cleanup Corps and the Prospect Park Turf Crew.

   

The spring plantings will include trees, shrubs, grasses and herbaceous perennials drawing on the original palette of plants chosen for Lakeside, plus a few new additions. This includes Whorled Milkweed (Asclepias verticillata), Foxglove Beardtongue (Penstemon digitalis) and Sweet pepperbush (Clethra alnifolia) to name a few—plants chosen for their resilience and ecosystem benefits.

Learn more about how Prospect Park Alliance is sustaining the environment. 

C. M. Pinckney

Sue Donoghue Appointed NYC Parks Commissioner

On February 4, Mayor Eric Adams announced that Prospect Park Alliance President Sue Donoghue will be the next New York City Parks Commissioner, carrying out his administration’s vision for a more equitable parks system where all New Yorkers can enjoy the physical, mental and emotional benefits that open space provides.

Sue begins in her new role on February 28, and the Prospect Park Alliance Board of Directors will soon begin a search for the organization’s next president. James Snow, Alliance Chief Operating and Financial Officer, will serve as interim President during this process.

In  her role, she will oversee more than 30,000 acres of land under the agency’s purview, including parks, playgrounds, recreational facilities, and beaches. A staunch advocate for parks equity, Donoghue will ensure that the agency’s mission of preserving and expanding well-maintained parkland is aligned with the mayor’s goal of reducing long-standing disparities in access to greenspace.

Read a message from Sue Donoghue to the Prospect Park Alliance community about this historic news. 

The Mayor also announced Iris Rodriguez-Rosa as the first deputy commissioner. A veteran of NYC Parks who currently serves as the Bronx borough commissioner, Rodriguez-Rosa has been a steadfast champion for better parks in underserved areas.

“Parks are more than places for recreation and enjoyment — they are powerful tools for equity,” said Mayor Adams. “For too long, many communities throughout our city have been denied easy access to these vital spaces. Under the leadership of Sue Donoghue and Iris Rodriguez-Rosa, we will work to ensure that every New Yorker can enjoy the myriad benefits green spaces can provide.”

“Our parks and open spaces are critical to the quality of life of all New York City residents. They improve the air we breathe, enhance our physical and mental health, and strengthen our communities. I am extremely honored and humbled to take on this role as NYC parks commissioner and work alongside the dedicated and essential workers who care for our 30,000 acres of parkland. Mayor Adams and his administration understand the importance of safe and equitable access to parks for all New Yorkers, and I’m committed to joining the team and ensuring that parks and open spaces across New York City are accessible and welcoming for all,” said incoming Commissioner Susan Donoghue.

“Prospect Park Alliance is delighted that Mayor Adams has selected Sue Donoghue as our next Parks Commissioner. In her tenure in Prospect Park, Sue has transformed Brooklyn’s Backyard for the benefit of all the communities the park serves, and we thank her for her vision and leadership. In her new role, we know she will be a fighter for all New Yorkers in the preservation and improvement of the City’s parks and open spaces, which are essential to our daily lives,” said Prospect Park Alliance Board of Directors Chair Iris Weinshall.

“In a challenging time for our city, when New Yorkers relied more than ever on their parks as spaces for recreation, social life, and exercise, Sue Donoghue tapped into the love for Prospect Park and channeled volunteer energy to address staffing shortages and leaned into making the park more inclusive and accessible. I commend the Mayor on a great choice in Sue Donoghue as Parks Commissioner and Iris Rodriguez as Deputy Commissioner, both of whom will bring to our parks a strong emphasis on ensuring all New Yorkers can enjoy them for years to come,” said New York City Comptroller Brad Lander.

“I can’t think of a better person to lead our Parks Department,” said New York City Councilmember Shahana Hanif.“I’ve had the privilege to work with Sue over the years to secure much needed funding, including through Participatory Budgeting, for the Endale Arch, the Prospect Park Lake, freeze-resistant water fountains, and other critical upgrades. Sue has a stellar track record leading the Prospect Park Alliance and ensuring the park is an inviting space to all New Yorkers. I look forward to continuing to work with her to make our parks cleaner, greener, filled with free cultural programming, and walkable to everyone regardless of ability.”

“I am so thrilled to learn of Susan Donoghue’s appointment as Commissioner of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. Sue has been a staunch steward of Prospect Park for almost ten years, and understands the role parks play in fostering healthy, active, and engaged communities. I’m confident Susan will work tirelessly to preserve our existing parks, playgrounds, and open spaces while simultaneously expanding access to city-run programs and green spaces in our most marginalized communities,” said New York City Councilmember Crystal Hudson.

“The selections of Susan Donoghue as Parks Commissioner and Iris Rodriguez-Rosa as first deputy commissioner are absolutely stellar choices by Mayor Adams. Our parks are essential to our daily lives, and it’s of paramount importance that we have thoughtful, experienced leaders to steward them. NYC’s parks are in great hands with the selection of both of these women. Prospect Park is my family’s backyard, and I’m thrilled that Sue Donoghue, who knows first-hand just how crucial it is to Brooklynites and New Yorkers more broadly, will be in a position to make it better than it already is,” said New York City Councilmember Rita Joseph.

“When Sue Donoghue came to Prospect Park she hit the ground running and happily engaged park users, stakeholders and Community Committee members. It was always a pleasure to speak with her and she always listened to our concerns. I look forward to the rest of the city discovering how good she is at her job and witnessing her continued love of parks. Best of luck to the new Commissioner,” said Prospect Park Community Committee Chair Dany Cunningham.

“From her work on Census 2020 to centering Caribbean-American culture and heritage, Sue Donoghue has proven time and time again to be an ally in fostering democratic, inclusive and equitable spaces for Brooklynites and New Yorkers at large. We congratulate Sue on her appointment as NYC Parks Commissioner and applaud Mayor Adams for appointing a leader who can #GetStuffDone,” said I AM CARIBBEING Founder Shelley Worrell.

c. Elizabeth-Keegin-Colley

Explore Prospect Park’s Waterways

January 25, 2022

Take a free, self-guided audio tour of Prospect Park’s watercourse—a marvel of nature, history and eco-innovation. The tour is presented by Prospect Park Alliance, in partnership with artist Mary Mattingly and More Art, and powered by Gesso. The tour serves as an educational component of the ecoWEIR pilot program currently operating in Prospect Park, and is presented through funding from the Environmental Protection Fund Grant Program for Park Services, administered by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation.

Prospect Park, Brooklyn’s landmark park, is a natural wonder but also a feat of engineering: home to the borough’s last remaining forest and only lake, the park’s watercourse is fed by the New York City water supply. The free, self-guided audio tour provides a new perspective on the natural and human-made ecosystems found in Prospect Park, and its connection to New York City’s water supply. From the natural ponds, local springs, and streams that were here before the park, to the waterways designed by park designers Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux that today are fed by watersheds as far as 125 miles north of the city, to the future health of these waterways through an innovative ecoWEIR that uses plants to filter water—the tour peels back layers of history, environmental stewardship, and human intervention that are hidden beneath the surface.

The tour begins at the Grand Army Plaza entrance of the park and ends on Wellhouse Drive in the park, a total of 2.02 miles and 12 narrated stops. The route includes a steep set of stairs in the Ravine and passes over dirt/gravel and paved paths. There is an accessible restroom at the end of the tour located at the Wellhouse.