c. Martin Seck

2019 Year in Review

The Brooklyn community is the driving force that keeps Prospect Park green and vibrant. Through the support of our members, volunteers, donors and advocates, in 2019 Prospect Park Alliance accomplished so much in our work to sustain, restore and advance Brooklyn’s Backyard for the diverse communities that call the borough home. 

“Prospect Park Alliance was founded more than 30 years ago to renew and revitalize Brooklyn’s Backyard,” said Sue Donoghue, Prospect Park Alliance President. “As Brooklyn continues to grow and evolve at an unprecedented pace, it is critical that the Alliance ensure the park remains open and accessible to all. Now more than ever our work is essential to the health and well-being of our entire Brooklyn community. The incredible growth of Brooklyn and resulting demands on the park from more than 10 million visits each year, and the challenges we face due to climate change and severe storms, makes this work more important than ever before, and we thank you for supporting our mission.”

Below are just a few of the impressive accomplishments that were only possible through the support of our Brooklyn community: 

Caring for Brooklyn Nature
This year, the Alliance Natural Resources Crew committed 12,000 hours to care for the park’s 30,000 trees, 250 acres of woodlands and 60-acre lake. We revitalized an important part of the park’s watercourse, a series of pools, streams and waterfalls that wind through the 150-acre woodland Ravine. Staff and volunteers donned waders to clean up garbage, clear downed trees and branches, and remove debris and invasive plants. The crew also expanded vibrant natural areas with native plants near Bartel-Pritchard Square, Lullwater Cove and the Long Meadow, and continued our important restoration work in areas hard hit by severe storms. 
In 2020, in the face of increasing challenges due to climate change, we will become the first urban park in the country to pilot an ecoWEIR, an environmentally sustainable way of reducing blue-green algae blooms in the park’s waterways. We will also continue our restoration of fragile wildlife habitats, including expanded pollinator areas, which are so vital to healthy woodlands.

Advancing the Park
2019 was full of historic moments in Prospect Park. The Alliance broke ground on two new entrances to the park along Flatbush Avenue, the first since the 1940s, and announced the design of a monument to Brooklyn trailblazer Shirley Chisholm. We also received a prestigious Lucy G. Moses Preservation Award for our adaptive reuse of the Wellhouse. To expand recreational opportunities in Brooklyn, we cut the ribbon on a new adult recreation area at the Parade Ground and piloted a turf-misting line—the first in a NYC park. We also celebrated the opening of Stroud Playground in Crown Heights, which we designed pro-bono as part of the city’s Community Parks Initiative. In the coming year, we will complete the design of the restorations of the Ocean and Parkside Avenue perimeters and Grand Army Plaza; and start construction on Lefferts Historic House, the Carousel, the Concert Grove Pavilion and Long Meadow Ball Fields restorations. We also look forward to cutting the ribbon on the restored Endale Arch, one of the park’s historic treasures.

Sustaining the Park
Alliance horticulturalists and turf crew dedicated 6,000 hours to maintain more than 150 acres of lawns and playing fields, as well as acres of beautifully manicured landscapes. More than 3,000 volunteers dedicated 18,000 hours alongside our crews to keep the park green and vibrant. This work included high-profile projects such as the revitalization of the pergola the Parkside entrance and the landscape at the Garfield entrance. In addition, the Alliance supplemented city crews to provide 6,000 hours of additional garbage cleanup throughout the year.

Engaging the Community
The Alliance offers robust programming at the Tennis Center, LeFrak Center at Lakeside, Carousel, Audubon Center, Pop-Up Audubon and Lefferts Historic House, as well as one-off public programming throughout the park. In 2019, Prospect Park Alliance welcomed nearly 750,000 participants in our recreation, education and public programs. In 2019, we also partnered with community organizations to present the Brooklyn Roots Festival; University Open Air; caribBEING Prospect Park; Prospect Park Yoga; Summer Movies Under the Stars; and, in its 40th year, the Halloween Haunted Walk and Fair.

We invite you to make a resolution to get more involved with Prospect Park Alliance in the coming year! Learn about the many ways to get involved.