Park Drive Repaving: Starting Wednesday, March 15, the Park Drive will be repaved in phases from Park Circle to Grand Army Plaza on weeknight overnight hours (8 pm-4 am). Portions of the Park Drive will have a rough surface on some weekdays: cyclists are advised to take alternate routes, including along protected bicycle lanes along the Parkside Avenue, Flatbush Avenue and Prospect Park West perimeters. Visit the NYCDOT website for updates.
Author: Lucy Gardner
October is Woodlands Month
October 3, 2022
Prospect Park is home to Brooklyn’s last remaining forest—comprising 250 acres of trees, fragile wildlife habitat and paths for the park’s millions of annual visitors to enjoy as the busy city vanishes from view. Prospect Park Alliance has spent decades restoring these woodlands to great success—the ecosystem is healthier than ever and is an essential resource for the people, plants and animals of Brooklyn. The woodlands work continues and you can do your part! Says Alliance Forest Ecologist Howard Goldstein, “Recognize that the forests, the trees, are living, and this habitat is filled with living things. We put in a lot of energy to protect, preserve and restore this green oasis, and the public can do its part. Follow the park rules and the signs. Being respectful of the woodlands really goes a long way.” We’re calling on all park lovers to Be a Park Champion—here’s how:
Please keep the woodlands clean! Dispose of litter in designated receptacles or consider taking your litter with you when you leave the park and disposing of it at home.
Please stay on paths in our woodland areas, and do not go beyond fencing in our woodlands: this protects fragile nesting areas and helps reduce soil compaction in delicate areas.
Please keep dogs leashed at all times in the woodlands: off-leash hours are provided in our large meadow areas, learn more on our Things to Do with Dogspage.
Please refrain from building forts in the woodlands: sticks and leaf litter on the forest floor are essential for the creatures that live in the park—leave these for the birds and bees!
On Saturday, October 15, we’re celebrating the first annual City of Forest Day. Presented by Forest for All NYC in partnership with the Parks and Open Space Partners – NYC Coalition and NYC Department of Parks and Recreation, City of Forest Day is a day of 50+ activities across the city to raise awareness of the importance of the New York City urban forest, and the essential role New Yorkers play every day in caring for the “lungs” of our city. Prospect Park Alliance will host three activities to celebrate Brooklyn’s last remaining forest including nature education programming, a volunteer opportunity and a tour of the woodlands in Brooklyn’s Backyard.
This summer, a familiar sight graced the park—the Prospect Park Alliance Woodlands Youth Crew, hard at work during the months of July and August. This beloved youth employment program provides teens with employment, training, mentorship and professional experience in environmental conservation and park stewardship. With many previous crew members recently aged out and graduated from high school, this year’s crew welcomed a largely new batch of teens from 10 local high schools.
“We had members of the crew with some work experience in this area, but for the most part, the work they did this summer was very new to them,” says Kate Abrams, Prospect Park Alliance Youth Program Manager & EcoZone Gardener who manages the crew. The 13 crew members and two supervisors, veteran Woodlands Youth Crew members Phil Lubrun and Victoria Henry-Harriott, worked in the heavily wooded Ravine, focusing on invasive species removal and erosion control along the park’s watercourse. This year’s crew also participated in a work exchange with the Gowanus Green Team members from the Gowanus Canal Conservancy, inviting them to don waders for phragmites removal in Prospect Park, and traveling to the Canal to learn about the propagation of herbaceous native plants.
Members of the 2022 Woodlands Youth Crew hard at work in Prospect Park. c. Kate Abrams, Prospect Park Alliance
“There were some on the crew that loved taking out the invasive trees, some loved using the handsaw…just seeing the evolution of every person on the crew was great. Over time I watched them taking initiative with the work, applying their new knowledge, and they started to run themselves in a way,” says Abrams.
By the end of the program, Woodlands Youth Crew participants gained skills in native and invasive plant identification, teamwork and communication; and developed their interest in nature in general, reports Abrams.
“I loved working with this group,” says crew member Max Piatetsky. “Not only did they make work that much more fun, but the things I learned from them and the memories we made will last for a long time.”
“The Woodlands Youth Crew was an opportunity to do something concrete to help the park while learning more about its plants and forest ecology,” says fellow crew member Isadora Davis. “My favorite part was learning how to identify different plants, and what their roles were in the ecosystem.”
“There were a lot of great moments,” says crew member Sam Klein Stearns. “I found myself quickly engulfed in an incredible community of all around great people.”
The Woodlands Youth Crew receives substantial support from NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital, with additional generous funding from the William C. Bullitt Foundation, Gray Foundation, Lavelle Family Foundation, and Zeldin Family Foundation.
Members of the 2022 Woodlands Youth Crew. c. Kate Abrams, Prospect Park Alliance
c. Vinata Ciputra
August is Wildlife Month
August 3, 2022
Prospect Park Alliance’s Summer of Stewardship continues, and this August is Wildlife Month! Living in a city, it can be easy to forget that we live alongside all manner of flying, crawling and scampering creatures—and not all of them thrive in our concrete jungle. Prospect Park’s 585 acres are a critical habitat for countless wildlife species who call the park home. This month, get to know these wonderful species and learn how you can #BeAParkChampion and help them thrive.
Test your park wildlife knowledge:Did you know that you can find 15 species of mammals in Prospect Park? Or that Prospect Park Lake hosts a large population of largemouth bass? Take our Prospect Park Wildlife Quiz and see how much you know about the creatures that live in Brooklyn’s Backyard.
Name our Park Champion mascot: We received over 500 submissions from the community for the name of our new mascot—thank you! This chipmunk will help educate our community about how to be a #ParkChampion and important ways to keep the park green and vibrant. Prospect Park Alliance naturalists narrowed down the list to 5 names—vote now on your favorite!
Pledge to be a Park Champion: Right now, more than 850 members of our community have taken the Park Champion pledge. Help us reach 1,000 today! Prospect Park is essential to the health and wellbeing of millions of community members, and the hundreds of species of plants and wildlife that call Brooklyn’s Backyard home. Take this important step to pledge to Be A Park Champion, and enter to win great prizes.
Did you know? Prospect Park is home to Brooklyn’s only Lake, a 60-acre haven for numerous species of fish, birds, turtles, frogs and plants. The Lake also attracts plenty of human admirers, and this July, we hope you’ll join us in being aPark Champion as we celebrate Lake Appreciation Month.
Volunteer at the Lake All July, Prospect Park Alliance has opportunities for you to lend a hand during Park Pitch In days! Join us for clean up projects on select Saturdays and Sundays—volunteers will be given grabbers, nets, and bags to help fish out trash from along the shoreline of our Lake. Appropriate for supervised youth ages 4-13, Teens and Adults.Sign up to volunteer.
Fish Responsibly Fishing is permitted in the Prospect Park Lake, and we ask all who participate to be Park Champions and follow these simple rules:
Spend your summer nights in Prospect Park with SHOWTIME® In The Park, the free, outdoor movie series presented by SHOWTIME® in partnership with Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso, Brooklyn Magazine and Prospect Park Alliance. The series will take place on Wednesdays in August on Prospect Park’s Long Meadow, and continues the longstanding “Summer Movies Under the Stars” series offered in Prospect Park for many years through the support of the Borough President.
This year, the series extends to Fort Greene Park in July with partner Fort Greene Park Conservancy, offering nostalgic classics and feel-good fan favorites for all ages. The two-month series lineup will include the “West Side Story” remake by Steven Spielberg, “Crooklyn,” “Back to the Future,” “Spider-Man No Way Home,” and more. See below for the full lineup. The themes throughout deal with connectivity, perseverance, friendship, family (chosen and otherwise), self-empowerment, creativity and fantasy — just what we could all use this summer.
“SHOWTIME® in the Park has become one of the many summer events Brooklynites get excited for each year, and I’m looking forward to enjoying this year’s movie line-up in my new role as Borough President with my family. Supporting free and friendly community gatherings is critically important to me as the Chief-Promoter-of-Brooklyn and I hope more organizations emulate investing in such events so we can grow the number of activities around the year for families and individuals alike. Thank you again to Prospect Park Alliance and the Fort Greene Park Conservancy for your partnership,” said Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso.
“We are thankful to the Borough President for continuing this long-cherished tradition of bringing our community together for free movie nights under the stars in Brooklyn’s Backyard, and to SHOWTIME® and Brooklyn Magazine for their support of this series,” said Deborah Kirschner, VP of Communications and External Relations for Prospect Park Alliance, the non-profit organization that sustains, restores and advances Prospect Park. “We also are delighted to partner with the Fort Greene Park Conservancy to expand the series to our sister park for another season of outdoor fun.”
The films will begin shortly after sundown at the north end of the Prospect Park Long Meadow, located nearest to the Grand Army Plaza entrance. The closest subway stations are the Grand Army Plaza and the Eastern Parkway/Brooklyn Museum stops on the 2, 3 lines or the B41 bus lines.
Visit the SHOWTIME® table for a complimentary lawn chair while supplies last.
The following is the full lineup:
Fort Greene Park For more information and to RSVP, click here.
West Side Story (2021) July 7 An adaptation of the 1957 musical, West Side Story explores forbidden love and the rivalry between the Jets and the Sharks, two teenage street gangs of different ethnic backgrounds.
Selena July 14 The true story of Selena, a Texas-born Tejano singer who rose from cult status to performing at the Astrodome, as well as having chart-topping albums on the Latin music charts.
Crooklyn July 21 Spike Lee’s vibrant semi-autobiographical portrait of a school teacher, her stubborn jazz musician husband and their five kids living in Brooklyn in 1973.
Clue July 28 Six guests are anonymously invited to a strange mansion for dinner, but after their host is killed, they must cooperate with the staff to identify the murderer as the bodies pile up.
Back to the Future August 3 Marty McFly, a 17-year-old high school student, is accidentally sent thirty years into the past in a time-traveling DeLorean invented by his close friend, the eccentric scientist Doc Brown.
Ghostbusters (1984) August 10 Three parapsychologists set up shop as a unique ghost removal service in New York City, attracting frightened yet skeptical customers.
Encanto August 17 A Colombian teenage girl has to face the frustration of being the only member of her family without magical powers.
Spider-Man: No Way Home August 24 With Spider-Man’s identity now revealed, Peter asks Doctor Strange for help. When a spell goes wrong, dangerous foes from other worlds start to appear, forcing Peter to discover what it truly means to be Spider-Man.
RSVP now to let us know you’re attending the summer film series at Prospect Park. This event is free and open to the public, and RSVPs are not required for entry.
Please note that events will be cancelled in the case of inclement weather. Please visit prospectpark.org and Prospect Park Alliance’s social media channels for up-to-date information. Any cancelled events will be rescheduled for the rain date of Wednesday, August 31.
About Prospect Park Alliance Prospect Park Alliance is the non-profit organization that sustains, restores and advances Prospect Park, Brooklyn’s Backyard, in partnership with the City of New York. The Alliance provides critical staff and resources that keep the Park green and vibrant for the diverse communities that call Brooklyn home. Learn more at prospectpark.org.
About TF Cornerstone Founded by Tom and Fred Elghanayan in 1970 with the renovation of a small brownstone in Lower Manhattan, TF Cornerstone (TFC) now owns and operates nearly 10,000 residential units in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Long Island City, and over 4 million square feet of commercial, office and retail space in NY, DC, VA and PA. With their rapid expansion into burgeoning Brooklyn markets and several momentous developments on the horizon, including 595 Dean St in Prospect Heights, TFC continues to build on its tradition of long-term investment and ownership by acquiring, developing and repositioning residential and commercial real estate. Learn more at tfc.com.
Prospect Park is the place to be for our community, which is why Prospect Park Alliance, the non-profit that sustains Brooklyn’s Backyard, is continuing the Re:New Prospect Park initiative for a second year. These efforts help serve our community to meet the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and the surge of visitors in the park.
Due to the pandemic, Prospect Park Alliance lost critical funding which resulted in a reduced workforce and resources. This combined with an increase in park visitors led to the park getting much more love than it can handle. However, thanks to the support of our community of donors and volunteers over the past two years, the park has been able to weather the storm, and the Alliance is placing much-needed funds to continue our Re:New efforts in time for our busiest season.
“Prospect Park has been so important for all of us these last two years. Our community has supported the park as volunteers, donors and advocates, and enabled us to sustain this essential green oasis,” said Prospect Park Alliance Interim President James Snow.
“During the pandemic, it was made abundantly clear just how vital parks are to the health and wellbeing of this city,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue. “As we continue to recover, our priority is to ensure that parks in all neighborhoods are clean, green and safe. We are so grateful for the support of our partners at the Prospect Park Alliance who share in our commitment through programs like the Re:New Initiative.”
Prospect Park Alliance has partnered with ACE New York, a non-profit that empowers the homeless, to provide additional maintenance resources to help clean the park on peak weekdays and weekend evenings through October. In addition, the Alliance has brought on board four groundskeepers to help supplement NYC Parks maintenance crews during this busiest time of year. The crew is partially funded via a grant from Amazon.
“Prospect Park is a local gem offering healthy outdoor recreation to Brooklyn families,” said Carley Graham Garcia, Amazon’s Head of Community Affairs in New York. “This creative initiative offers new job opportunities, while ensuring Prospect Park continues to serve our local neighborhood especially as we head into the summer months. Amazon is thrilled to renew this partnership for Summer 2022.”
To support these efforts, Prospect Park Alliance is encouraging park visitors to carry out their trash via promotional signage at all park entrances. The Alliance has also installed large trash receptacles in key areas of the park.
The Alliance will continue the re-investment in the park to tackle important improvement projects through funding from our community of donors. Work will take place to improve pedestrian pathways, repair stonework at the Lakeside esplanade and locations throughout the park, install new picnic tables at the Wellhouse barbecue area, and improve drainage throughout the park—an increasingly critical tool in improving the resilience of the park against major rain and flooding events.
Prospect Park Alliance has brought back the popular Re:New Volunteer Corps—a weekly volunteer program that tackles park improvement projects made necessary by the high volume of visitors. The crew works alongside Alliance staff to maintain playgrounds, painting over unsightly graffiti, weed areas overgrown with invasive plants and repaint park benches and railings.
In 2021, the Re:New Volunteer Corps was a great success and the crew worked on a variety of park improvement projects. Over the course of the season, they removed 2.6 tons of invasive vines and weeds; filled 250 holes on the Long Meadow; replenished all playground sandboxes; and sanded and painted 270 linear feet of hand railing, 121 benches, 46 entrance bollards, and the 10 storage containers on Center Drive.
About Prospect Park Alliance
Prospect Park Alliance is the non-profit organization that sustains, restores and advances Prospect Park, Brooklyn’s Backyard, in partnership with the City of New York. The Alliance provides critical staff and resources that keep the Park green and vibrant for the diverse communities that call Brooklyn home. Learn more at prospectpark.org.
Amazon is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Fire tablets, Fire TV, Amazon Echo, and Alexa are some of the products and services pioneered by Amazon. For more information, visit amazon.com/about and follow @AmazonNews.
ACE was founded in 1992 and provides job-readiness training, work experience, all around support, and much more to New Yorkers who have histories of homelessness, incarceration and addiction. At ACE, men and women overcome barriers through hard work to reach their goals of full-time employment, economic self-sufficiency, and family reunification. Over 3,000 men and women have secured full-time employment through ACE’s programs. Learn more at acenewyork.org.
c. Paul Martinka
Alliance Receives Top Honor at Lucy G. Moses Awards
April 22, 2022
At the 2022 Lucy G. Moses Preservation Awards, New York Landmarks Conservancy’s highest honors for preservation, Prospect Park Alliance received a top honor—The Preservation Organization Award. The Moses Awards recognize individuals, organizations, architects, craftspeople and building owners for their extraordinary contributions to preserving our City. As noted at the ceremony, the award is in recognition of the Alliance’s excellent stewardship for the collection of historic structures and sites in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park.
Prospect Park Alliance, the non-profit that sustains Prospect Park in partnership with the city, has a team of architects, designers, and landscape managers who are dedicated to preserving the original vision of the park as realized by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, while evolving the park to meet contemporary needs.
Among the Alliance’s previous preservation projects are the Prospect Park Carousel, the Boathouse, the Picnic House, the Bailey Fountain and more. “In each instance, the Alliance has recognized the value of these sites to connect community and honor history,” notes the Landmarks Conservancy’s Awards materials. “They have devoted resources, used original documentation to recreate lost architectural features, and have executed these projects to the highest standards. The picturesque results delight visitors and retain the park’s historic character.”
Learn about more projects coming up in the park on the Alliance’s Capital Project Tracker.
Many of the members of Prospect Park Alliance’s award-winning design and construction team. Left to right, back row: Jillian Pagano, Landscape Architect II; Alden Maddry, Senior Architect; Christian Zimmerman, Vice President, Capital and Landscape Management; Amy Peck, Archivist; Robert Garcia, Assistant Landscape Architect. Left to right, front row, Assya Plavskina, Construction Supervisor—Historic Preservation; Sarena Rabinowitz, Assistant Architect.
Alliance Launches Poetry Partnership with Writing the Land
February 23, 2022
Prospect Park Alliance is partnering with Writing the Land, which connects poets with land set aside for people and nature to foster collaboration between the environmental and creative communities. Prospect Park Alliance has partnered with Writing the Land to commission four poets to produce work about Prospect Park and share their work with the Brooklyn community: Black poet Rachelle Parker, and Native American poets Michaeline Picaro, Opalanietet and Ty Defoe.
This partnership is a stage for diverse voices to engage in a dialogue about the park and its history, an important part of Prospect Park Alliance’s community engagement work. The collaboration, while embracing the park as a whole, connects to the Alliance’s Re-Imagine Lefferts initiative, currently underway, which seeks to re-envision the mission and programming of the park’s historic house museum to recognize its role as a site of slavery and to elevate the voices of the enslaved Africans who lived and worked the land, and the Indigenous people that were forced to leave their ancestral lands at the time of Dutch colonization.
“Our partnership with Writing the Land fits incredibly well into the work of the Alliance,” says Maria Carrasco, the Alliance’s Vice President of Public Programs. “Poetry is empowering and the perfect vehicle for engaging our community in contemplating the viewpoints of traditionally unheard voices. The spoken word can provide members of our community with new ways of thinking, and hopefully will encourage them to actively participate in social change and civic engagement here in the park and beyond.”
“Writing the Land is excited to expand our work with traditional land trusts to more diverse organizations that protect land,” says director of Writing the Land, Lis McLoughlin, PhD. ”Prospect Park is an amazing resource for its community and beyond, and we were delighted to find they were very open to using poetry as a way to highlight the great work they do. Our poets are looking forward to building bridges between the park and those who love and use it.”
The poets will spend the next several months visiting the park and creating poems inspired by the land, which will culminate in a reading in the park in October. Prospect Park poets will be featured performers, and they will give a sneak peek of some poems they are preparing for the Writing the Land Anthology to be published in December.
From left to right: Michaeline Picaro, Opalanietet, Rachelle Parker, Ty Defoe
Michaeline Picaro is a member of the Ramapough Lunaape Nation Turtle Clan. As a traditionalist with knowledge of medicinal plants, Picaro is currently seeking to further her expertise and is enrolled at Chamberlain College to receive her nursing BSN to further assist the Turtle Clan with nursing needs and assessments. Picaro is also a co-founder of the Munsee Three Sisters Medicinal Farm which creates jobs and works toward food sovereignty. She is a co-founder of Ramapough Culture and Land Foundation, which preserves and restores the economic, social, cultural, sacred and environmental assets of the Ramapough Munsee ancestral lands.Picaro carries the Clan Mother title and is a Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the Narragansett Indian Tribe and preservationist for ceremonial landscapes.
Opalanietet is a member of the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape tribal nation of New Jersey. Since graduating from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, Opalanietet has performed in workshops and productions at renowned New York theatrical institutions including New Dramatists, LaMaMa E.T.C. and New York City Opera at Lincoln Center. In 2012, Opalanietet founded Eagle Project, a theater company dedicated to exploring the American identity through the performing arts and Native American heritage. Opalanietet is currently studying for his doctorate in Theatre & Performance Studies at the City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate Center.
Rachelle Parker is a Nassawadox-born, Brooklyn-bred writer. She was selected the winner of the Furious Flower Poetry Prize, was awarded third prize in the Allen Ginsberg Poetry Award and was a finalist in Rhino Founders’ Prize. She was recognized in the Arts By The People – 2021 Moving Words. Her work appears in About Place Journal, The Adirondack Review, Taint Taint Taint Magazine and she is a contributor to the anthology The BreakBeat Poets: Black Girl Magic. Her photography also debuted in Orion Magazine.
Ty Defoeis an Indigiqueer citizen of the Oneida Nation and Anishinaabe Nations. Defoe is a writer, interdisciplinary artist, and Grammy Award winner. Defoe aspires to an “interweaving and glitterizing approach to artistic projects with liberation and environmentalism.” Defoe’s global cultural arts highlights include the Millennium celebration in Cairo, Egypt; International Music Festival in Ankara, Turkey; and Festival of World Cultures in Dubai. The artist’s accolades range from the Global Indigenous Heritage Festival Award, Jonathan Larson Award, Helen Merrill Playwriting Award 2021, and Cultural Capital Fellowship with First People’s Fund 2021.
A Message from Sue Donoghue
February 4, 2022
A message from Prospect Park Alliance President Sue Donoghue:
Serving as the President of Prospect Park Alliance and Park Administrator has been one of the great honors of my career. I’ve been so lucky to work alongside so many dedicated people, from Alliance and NYC Parks staff, to our incredibly hardworking volunteers and community advocates, and a devoted Board of Directors that has provided the Alliance exceptional guidance and leadership.
I’m honored to be taking on a citywide leadership role in caring for New York City’s most essential resource, its parks and open spaces, and I will continue to cherish and support Prospect Park as a neighbor and park advocate. It has been a great privilege to steward this breathtakingly beautiful space, and serve as only the third president of this thriving, 35-years-young organization.
The last two years have tested our resolve in many ways, but they have also brought into clear focus the importance of our parks and open spaces. Prospect Park has served as both a respite and a gathering space, a great green oasis for the community during these challenging times.
I look forward to continuing to work alongside you, cheering for and supporting these glorious 585 acres. Thanks to our amazing staff and experienced leadership, the Alliance is in good hands today and in the years to come, in large part due to the dedication and support of all of you, our community of park lovers.
Woess’s work is part of the Alliance’s mission to sustain the environment in Prospect Park, and she works alongside the dedicated Landscape Management team. These workers monitor the health of the park’s aquatic and woodland areas, look after more than 30,000 trees, and strategically care for the park’s natural habitats.
Prospect Park is 585 acres of rolling meadows, waterways and woodlands in the heart of New York’s most populous borough—and receives upwards of 10 million visits a year. Prospect Park also is home to Brooklyn’s only lake and last remaining forest, and is an important wildlife habitat that supports more than 250 species of birds and other fauna.
In her interview, Woess stresses the importance for proper park stewardship in order to keep the park wildlife safe, “Be responsible. Take your trash out with you. If you’re a fisherman, please do it responsibly. You need to clear up your line and your hooks. Make sure you have the right hooks, the legal hooks. It’s about taking responsibility for your actions in a park and cleaning up after yourself.”