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:
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.
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.
Got U.S. presidents on the brain? Between the recent inauguration and the upcoming President’s Day holidays, we decided to take a look back to the United States presidents of the past who left their mark on our very own Prospect Park. Take the quiz and test your presidential and park knowledge!
The Presidents + The Park Quiz (answers below):
Though this president never visited Prospect Park, he has two likenesses here—who is it?
Which president’s daughter viewed a parade of school children on the Long Meadow in 1950?
Which president appears in a beloved monument in bronze on the back of his horse, Cincinnati?
Which president used the south Long Meadow as a makeshift helipad during a visit to Brooklyn?
Which president attended the dedication of Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch in 1892?
What president’s monument was re-installed in Prospect Park in 2010?
Which president’s home was temporarily recreated in Prospect Park in the 1930s?
Answer 1. Abraham Lincoln
Prospect Park is home to not one, but two sculptural renditions of Abraham Lincoln. The first, pictured below, was first erected in Grand Army Plaza in 1869, and moved to the Concert Grove in 1895 where it remains today, overlooking the Lake. This was the very first statue memorial to President Lincoln after his assassination in 1865 and was the park’s first monument, added just two years after Prospect Park first opened to the public in 1867. The second, pictured above, can be found on the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Memorial Arch at Grand Army Plaza.
Answer 2. Harry Truman
The 33rd president’s daughter, Margaret Truman Daniel, visited Prospect Park and attended a parade of Protestant school children on the Long Meadow during her father’s term in office.
Answer 3. Ulysses S. Grant
An equestrian statue of President Grant atop his horse Cincinnati can be found on the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Memorial Arch at Grand Army Plaza opposite the above statue of Abram Lincoln. The arch, which commemorates the Union victory in the Civil War, includes these unusual relief sculptures from creators Thomas Eakins and William R. O’Donovan. The reliefs were originally meant to adorn the front of the arch, were criticized for the unusual proportions and lack of grandeur, and were eventually moved to inner faces of the arch piers.
Answer 4. Barack Obama
Many of us remember when Marine One landed on the Prospect Park Ballfields in October 2013 carrying then-president Barack Obama. He was on his way to give a speech at a school in Crown Heights and hundreds gathered on and around the Long Meadow to try and catch a glimpse of the 44th president. President Obama is no stranger to Brooklyn, having lived in Park Slope at 640 Second Street for a year in the mid-1980s. As he told the student’s at Pathways in Technology Early College High School during that 2013 visit, “When I was living here, Brooklyn was cool, but not this cool.”
Answer 5. Grover Cleveland
President Cleveland was on hand with General William Tecumseh Sherman to lay the cornerstone of the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Memorial Arch at Grand Army Plaza at the dedication ceremony in 1892. The arch resembles the famous Arc de Triomphe in Paris, though at eighty-by-eighty feet, Brooklyn’s arch is substantially smaller than it’s French counterpart which stands at 162 feet.
Answer 6. John F. Kennedy
In 1965, two years after the assassination of John F. Kennedy, a bronze bust of the late president by Neil Estern was installed at Grand Army Plaza. It was recently recast and reinstalled in it’s current location at the north end of the Plaza in 2010. It is the only statue honoring President Kennedy in New York City.
Answer 7. George Washington
Strange as it may seem, a replica of George Washington’s home, Mount Vernon, was erected on the Prospect Park Peninsula in 1932 to commemorate the bicentennial of his birth, complete with a Presidential impersonator. From then until 1934, when it was taken down, crowds lined up to pay admission to see the elaborate gardens and meticulously recreated interiors.
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.
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.
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.
The pandemic has thrown a wrench into the wedding season, with nuptials postponed while we wait for the all-good to gather in person. While the parties are pending, many couples are moving ahead in planning their special day. In Prospect Park, we are helping couples plan their weddings—virtually!
Prospect Park holds one of Brooklyn’s favorite wedding venues, the Prospect Park Picnic House. We spoke to Cat Feliciano, Prospect Park Alliance’s Rentals & Event Planning Coordinator for the Prospect Park Picnic House, about the current state of weddings in the park and her virtual tours.
Hi Cat! What is the new process for setting up a virtual tour of the Picnic House?
Couples can get in touch with us through our website contact form, and then we will contact you to set up a virtual tour of the Prospect Park Picnic House, usually on Thursdays between 11 am – 2 pm.
Great, once you set up a tour, what happens next?
We will send you a link to a video meeting, and we do a walk through of the space using the 360 degree tour we have of the facility. I start at out front of the building, just like I would if we were in person, and walk you through the whole space, pointing out amenities and the outdoor areas that are part of the rental. During the tour, I take questions about everything you could want to know about having a wedding at the Prospect Park Picnic House. After the tour, I follow up with photos of previous weddings and celebrations, and give you lots of information about our caterers and preferred vendors.
What questions always come up on these tours?
Everyone is asking, “when are you going to be open?” and of course we don’t know, but we’re optimistic that it will be soon since we’re already in Phase 2 of the reopening. More intimate gatherings may come back first before we are able to be at full capacity. People like to know about the amenities at the Picnic House, about the House Manager that comes with the space, and about our vendors and caterers.
When are people booking their weddings for?
Right now we’re seeing a lot of people booking dates in 2021 or 2022. We know that is far off, and if you want to hold a date, we give you a courtesy hold of five days so that you can reach out to vendors, speak with your family, and figure out if it works for you.
Do you anticipate holding in-person showings of the Prospect Park Picnic House soon?
Yes, the in-person showings will soon be starting back up. We’re following all precautions to keep our staff and our patrons safe and we’ll keep holding the virtual tours so that people don’t have to worry about putting themselves at risk.
Pop-Up Lefferts Launches with caribBEING Partnership
June 10, 2020
Prospect Park Alliance has announced the launch of Pop-Up Lefferts, which brings free family programs focused on Brooklyn’s rich culture and history, starting virtually this June with its second annual partnership with caribBEING, a Flatbush-based cultural organization that builds awareness and fosters Caribbean heritage, as part of National Caribbean-American Heritage Month.
In June, virtual programming will feature Caribbean-centered cooking, fitness, maker workshops and storytelling. Pop-Up Lefferts will then continue at locations around Prospect Park and surrounding neighborhoods while Lefferts Historic House undergoes a $2.5 million restoration funded by the New York City Council.
Virtual Pop-Up Lefferts: caribBEING Cooks
Sunday, June 21, 2 pm
All ages, Free
Join Prospect Park Alliance and caribBEING to explore culinary traditions of Brooklyn. First, take a virtual tour of the Labay Market in Flatbush’s Little Caribbean to learn about the spices of the Caribbean, and then join us for a cooking demonstration with Nuyorican local makers Breukelen Rub, followed by a moderated conversation on Caribbean culinary traditions.
Virtual Pop-Up Lefferts: Caribbean Fitness in de Park
Sunday June 28, 2 pm
All ages, Free
Learn how to utilize the park to improve your fitness, strength and endurance in this workshop led by Trinidadian-American, Flatbush-based performance coach, Marlon Jude, and then join him for a moderated conversation where he can answer your questions about getting fit and healthy in the park.
Virtual Pop-Up Lefferts: Caribbean Candle Making
Sunday July 5, 2 pm
All ages, Free
Relax and enjoy a guided candle-making class with local maker Perry Boyce (Guyanese-American). Participants will try their hand at every step of the candle making process and create a custom candle of their very own, and then join Boyce for a moderated conversation about growing up in Flatbush, her art and practice.
Virtual Pop-Up Lefferts: Stories from the Caribbean
Sunday July 12, 2 pm
All ages, Free
Hear a selection of wise and witty Caribbean stories, as told by beloved storyteller Tammy Hall, then join us for a moderated conversation with Hall about the inspiration for these stories.
Lefferts Historic House is an 18th-century farmhouse that features a working garden, historic artifacts, period rooms and exhibits. The museum focuses on the lives of the people that lived and worked on the land including the Lenape, Dutch settlers and enslaved Africans. The museum is jointly operated by Prospect Park Alliance and the Historic House Trust of New York City. Starting in 2020, Prospect Park Alliance will undertake the restoration of the house, which will include capital improvements—replacing the roof, restoring the exterior of the building, and repairing paths and drainage surrounding the house—as well as re-envisioning the public programming to provide a living history of Brooklyn from the 18th century to present day.
Founded in 2012, caribBEING builds cultural awareness and fosters Caribbean heritage through Film + Art + Culture. This creative hub is a fully-integrated, award-winning group that has partnered with Brooklyn Museum, the James Beard Foundation and other cultural partners. Learn more at caribbeing.com.
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 NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital
NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital has been providing outstanding medical care to the surrounding communities for over 130 years. Located in Park Slope, Brooklyn, the 591-bed teaching hospital is affiliated with Weill Cornell Medicine and provides specialized services in advanced and minimally invasive surgery, neurosciences, orthopedics, digestive and liver disorders, and cancer and cardiac care. Learn more at nyp.org/brooklyn.
Prospect Park Alliance sustains, restores and advances Prospect Park to benefit the diverse communities we serve, in partnership with the City of New York. Read More