c. Jordan Rathkopf

Sustaining the Environment

Prospect Park is 585 acres of rolling meadows, waterways and woodlands in the heart of New York’s most populous borough—and also one with the least amount of green space per resident. Prospect Park 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.

Be a Park Advocate
Help protect Brooklyn’s natural areas by following these simple rules:

  • Please 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 or build forts in our woodlands: this protects fragile nesting areas for birds, turtles and other wildlife.
  • 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 Dogs page.
  • Please do not climb trees in the park, in our woodlands or beyond: our trees are our environmental treasure, and climbing is never permitted. While sap is flowing up to provide nourishment to the emerging buds and flowers, bark is at its most vulnerable. Wounds become easy access for insects and disease.
  • Please enjoy the flowers, but don’t pick as they are important for our pollinators, the cycle of life in any wildlife habitat.

Since its founding, Prospect Park Alliance has undertaken an extensive restoration of the Park’s natural areas, including the woodland Ravine and the Park’s historic watercourse and lake, which suffered from significant erosion and neglect. The Alliance’s work to restore the Park’s woodlands over the past two decades represents a $15 million investment that has encompassed nearly 200 acres of woodlands, and the planting and ongoing care of more than 500,000 trees, plants and shrubs.

The Alliance’s Landscape Management team includes ecologists who monitor the health of the Park’s aquatic and woodland areas, and arborists who evaluate the trunks, limbs and root systems of more than 30,000 trees, which represent more than 200 species. The Natural Resources Crew removes invasive plants while introducing thousands of native shrubs, flowers and trees each year, and cares for the Park’s watercourse, including Brooklyn’s only Lake. They strategically repair erosion on damaged hillsides and maintain trails throughout the Park. Each of these tasks is critical to preserving the Park’s natural habitats.

Picnic in the park Summer

A Guide to Eco-Friendly Picnics in the Park

Prospect Park's Woodland Ecosystem

Alliance Forest Ecologist Howard Goldstein spoke with Turnstile Tours in a video presentation.

Common buckeye moth (Junonia coenia) in Prospect Park’s Butterfly Meadow.

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