Open House New York in Prospect Park

September 20, 2023

Mark your calendar! Registration for Open House New York begins Monday, October 9 for events city-wide including exciting happenings in Brooklyn’s Backyard. Join Prospect Park Alliance for a behind-the-scenes tour of the newly restored Lefferts Historic House and a tour of the Prospect Park Vale with an inside look at the upcoming restoration to make it more welcoming and accessible to all Brooklyn residents.

Save the date! Registration begins on Monday October 9:

OHNY: Re-Envisioning the Prospect Park Vale

Saturday October 21, 10:00 am – 11:00 am and 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Prospect Park Vale

Join Svetlana Ragulina, Senior Landscape Architect, and Deborah Kirschner, Vice President of External Relations, at Prospect Park Alliance, the non-profit that sustains Prospect Park in partnership with the City, to learn about the upcoming restoration of the Prospect Park Vale in the northeast corner of the park. Learn about the Alliance’s plans to transform the Vale, an important woodland landscape that serves as a critical habitat to birds and other wildlife, and the extensive community outreach and engagement efforts that led to a new vision for this lesser-known park landscape to make it more welcoming and accessible to all Brooklyn residents. This tour will be led on pedestrian pathways but closed toed shoes would be recommended, particularly if there are rainy conditions. The area is not ADA-accessible. It will be fully outdoors.

Please note there will be two hour-long tours: 10:00 am – 11:00 am and 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

OHNY: Lefferts Historic House Behind-the-Scenes Tour

Saturday October 21, 11:00 am – 2:00 pm
Lefferts Historic House

You’re invited to a behind-the-scenes look at the newly restored and reimagined Lefferts Historic House. This 18th-century Flatbush farmhouse and New York City landmark, jointly operated by Prospect Park Alliance and the Historic House Trust, reopened this season after a $2.5 million major restoration which was recognized with a 2023 Lucy G. Moses Preservation Award, the New York Landmarks Conservancy’s highest honor for outstanding preservation. In timing with the restoration, the Alliance launched ReImagine Lefferts, an initiative funded through a Humanities in Place grant from the Mellon Foundation that is re-envisioning the mission and programming of the museum to explore the stories of resistance and resilience by the Indigenous people of Lenapehoking, whose unceded ancestral lands the park and house rests upon, and the Africans who were enslaved by the Lefferts family.

Visit the Lefferts Historic House to see the restored farmhouse, the inaugural exhibition of the ReImagine Lefferts Initiative, the J’ouvert Genesis Immersive Experience, and on a first-come, first-served basis every 30 minutes, embark on a guided tour of some of the house’s areas not on public view. The behind-the-scenes tour takes visitors into areas that are only accessible via staircases, and is therefore not ADA-accessible.

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. 

c. Frederick Charles

Prospect Park’s NYC Climate Week 2021 Events

September 10, 2021

The effects of climate change are being felt near and far, including in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park. During NYC Climate Week, September 20-26, join Prospect Park Alliance for virtual and in-person events to learn more and lend a hand in Brooklyn’s Backyard:

Walking Tour of New Park Features

July 21, 2021

Prospect Park’s 585 acres boast a variety of picturesque destinations, delightful nature elements, and important architectural features, shaped by 150+ years of history. For those interested in learning more, Turnstile Tours offers in-park tours weekly to give visitors a behind-the-scenes look at Brooklyn’s Backyard. Learn more and book your tour today. 

Prospect Park Alliance has recently completed work on a few exciting projects around the park, and we’ve put together a self-guided walking tour for you to enjoy during your next park visit. Let’s get started!

Endale Arch (directions) Above, the newly restored Endale Arch in Prospect Park, c. Paul Martinka.

Entering the park from Grand Army Plaza, head in through the pathway furthest on the left, closest to the Brooklyn Public Library. Follow the path to the newly restored Endale Arch, a transporting portal out of the concrete of the city and into the peaceful landscape of the park.

Endale Arch was one of the first architectural elements constructed in Prospect Park in the 1860’s, conceived of by park creators Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux. In recent decades, the arch had fallen into disrepair, and Prospect Park Alliance undertook a restoration that completed in 2020. Now, fully restored to it’s original splendor, visitors can enjoy the alternating color motif and fine craftsmanship of the arch with the added benefit of new LED lighting that illuminates the interior. The result is a breathtaking window into Prospect Park’s historic past—learn more about the Endale Arch. 

Flatbush Entrance Dec 2020
New Flatbush Avenue Entrance, c. Svetlana Ragulina.

Flatbush Avenue Entrance (directions)

Head south down the path by the Long Meadow, and cross the Park Drive at Nellie’s Lawn. Follow the path into the woods and you’ll arrive and Prospect Park’s first new entrance to be added to the park since the 1940’s. The Flatbush Avenue Entrance was funded by Mayor Bill de Blasio through the Parks Without Borders initiative, and was designed by Prospect Park Alliance.

The entrance, which opened in early 2021 features new landscaping, seating and lighting, two rock scrambles, and plantings of a variety of resilient trees, shrubs, and flowering plants. It is the only park entrance that leads directly into the woodlands, and provides easy access to the Rose Garden and Vale of Cashmere. Learn more about the contruction and features of the new Flatbush Avenue Entrance. 

PPA Concert Grove Pavilion 029.JPG
Newly restored Concert Grove Pavilion, c. Paul Martinka.

Concert Grove Pavilion (directions)

Continue south, either along the Park Drive or on the paths that meander through the Ravine. Pass the Boathouse and arrive at the newly restored Concert Grove Pavilion. The Pavilion was designed by Calvert Vaux in 1874 and borrows motifs from Hindu, Chinese, Moorish and Egyptian architecture. The Pavilion—a beloved community destination, was almost completely destroyed by fire in 1974, but the elaborate cast iron columns were salvaged and the pavilion was restored for the first time in 1988, and again in 2021.

Through this current restoration, the Alliance brought back beautiful features including elaborately detailed wooden trim and moldings at the eaves of the roof, terne-coated, stainless-steel roof shingles, and new high-efficiency light fixtures illuminate a beautiful star-patterned, stained-glass ceiling in the center dome and light the surrounding landscape. Learn more about the restoration of the Concert Grove Pavilion. 

Interested in learning about more of Prospect Park Alliance’s work? Visit our Capital Project Tracker to stay up-to-date on improvement projects in the park. 

Virtual Tour: Spring Planting at Lakeside

May 7, 2021

Take a virtual walk through LeFrak Center at Lakeside with Turnstile Tours and Corbin Laedlein, the Lakeside Lead EcoZone Gardener for Prospect Park Alliance. Learn how Corbin and his fellow Lakeside gardeners curate Lakeside’s plant mix for ecological, aesthetic, and habitat purposes, and visit the green roof atop the Lakeside skating rink.

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


c. Rob Hanson

Virtual Program: Winter Birding

February 16, 2021

While winter might seem like a slow time for birdwatching, many migratory species can be seen in New York only at this time of year, along with an exciting host of year-round birds.

Watch this recorded virtual program from our partners at Turnstile Tours for a discussion with experts from the Brooklyn Bird Club, where they share some of the notable species currently found in the city, how to identify them, and tips for where to to find them. A birder joins live from the field, showing some of these spots in Prospect Park.

This is an excellent program for new and novice bird watchers in our area! Check out more resources on our Birdwatching page.  and stay up-to-date on upcoming in-park and virtual programs from Turnstile Tours. 

c. Paul Martinka

Virtual Program: Tour of Endale Arch

February 1, 2021

Prospect Park Alliance recently completed the restoration of the Endale Arch, one of the original portals to the park designed by Calvert Vaux and Frederick Law Olmsted. In this virtual tour, hosted by Turnstile Tours, get an insider’s look at the restoration process, which required years of research, incredibly skilled craftspeople, and painstakingly detailed work to bring the arch back to its original splendor. With guests Sarena Rabinowitz, Assistant Architect, Design & Construction at Prospect Park Alliance, and Curtis Barnhart of Barnhart Restoration & Design, the group that did the restoration work on the stunning interior. We go live to the arch itself to see these wonderful details up close.

The arch restoration was generously funded by the Tiger Baron Foundation, with additional support from Council Member Brad Lander through District 39 participatory budgeting. Learn more about this multi-phase restoration project. 

Martin Seck

Virtual Program: Prospect Park Waterways

October 18, 2020

Prospect Park Alliance in partnership with Turnstile Tours present a virtual exploration of Prospect Park’s waterways. In this virtual tour, we look closely at the ingenious drainage system and chain of manmade streams and ponds that terminate in Brooklyn’s largest lake, follow the park’s scenic watercourse, and go inside one of the most unique features of the park: the 1869 Wellhouse, the park’s last remaining building by park designer Calvert Vaux, which once housed the machinery that fueled the watercourse and was recently restored by the Prospect Park Alliance and converted into the first composting restrooms in a NYC park.

Learn more about the Prospect Park Wellhouse. 


Virtual Program: Tackling Climate Change in Prospect Park

September 29, 2020

In this Climate Week NYC virtual program, learn how climate change has affected Prospect Park and other natural areas in New York City. Hear about the projections for the future, including how Prospect Park Alliance and the Natural Areas Conservancy is using the best available science to mitigate the negative effects of climate change and preserve our urban forests. Hosted by Turnstile Tours and featuring guests Howard Goldstein, Prospect Park Alliance forest ecologist, and Natural Areas Conservancy’s Justin Bowers, program manager for Natural Areas Restoration and the creator of Forest Identification and Restoration Selection Tool (FIRST), which helps forest restoration practitioners manage for and adapt to geographic and climate conditions.

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

Martin Seck

4 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day

April 21, 2020

Happy Earth Day! This year, people all around the world are celebrating a milestone—the 50th anniversary of this international day of action for our environment. While we cannot gather together, our environmental educators have organized a celebration with fun activities and programs that will bring the wonders of nature in Prospect Park to life no matter where you are.

Finally, this Earth Day, sustain the park that sustains you:  right now your gift will go twice as far to sustain our community’s essential green space. We’re excited to announce that a pair of generous Prospect Park Alliance supporters have made a pledge: they will match all donations up to $20,000, dollar-for-dollar. Now is the perfect time to make your gift to support the park you love—when it will go twice as far and do twice as much to preserve this essential natural oasis.


Prospect Park is home to Brooklyn’s last remaining forest, only lake and hundreds of species of plants and animals. Give now in honor of Earth Day—and know that your donation will be put to work immediately to sustain the park you love.

And from all of us here at Prospect Park Alliance, happy Earth Day!