Community Pitches In To Pick Up Trash

May 18, 2020

In a normal year, Prospect Park receives upwards of 10 million visits—folks flock to Brooklyn’s Backyard for picnics, play dates, concerts, dog walks and so much more. During the best of times, tidying up after these visits is an enormous undertaking, requiring the help of dozens of NYC Parks and Prospect Park Alliance staff and volunteers. This work helps ensure that the park stays clean and safe for our community and the wildlife that call Prospect Park home.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought many changes to the park. With nearly everything other public space closed, parks have never been more essential for our community—or more visited. Across the city, parks are packed and trash is on the rise. As the Alliance deals with reduced staff in the park, and reduced revenue to pay for supplemental cleaning crews, we are looking to our community to help keep this shared space clean—and you are stepping up!

Want to join in the fight to keep Prospect Park clean and healthy? Here are our tips:

  • An easy way to help keep the park clean? Carry your trash out of the park with you when you go or locate a park dumpster for trash to prevent overfilling smaller receptacles.
  • Want to play a bigger part? Make your own Green-and-Go Kit by pulling together garbage bags, trash grabbers and gloves for your next trip to the park.
  • If you are helping out, please observe social distancing guidelines—wear a face covering and keep 6 feet of distance from others.
  • Stick to park paths to avoid trampling fragile park habitats, and thank you for doing your part for Brooklyn’s Backyard! 

Learn more about how you can help Prospect Park Alliance sustain the park environment. 

Images: above via Gail Greenberg, below left via Paula Zamora Gonzalez, below right via Pristine Johannessen


This year on Earth Day, April 22, Prospect Park Alliance piloted a Green + Go Kit volunteer program, which offered trash grabbers and garbage bags to ecologically minded Brooklynites. Forty kits were loaned to the public in an effort to create a socially distanced volunteer opportunity, and the response was more than enthusiastic: all kits were booked in just three days. 

“It was a very diverse group of people—all ages and cultures were represented, adults and families with children,” said Maria Carrasco, Vice President for Public Programs at Prospect Park Alliance. “People were very thankful that the Alliance was offering this opportunity, and they walked out the door and started cleaning up trash right away!”

The Green + Go Kit volunteers aren’t the only ones who have been helping with trash collection—the help regular park-goers who are doing their part has been reported far and wide: these community members have been going out of their way to help pick up litter to keep Brooklyn’s Backyard clean and beautiful.