c. Caroline Ourso

City of Forest Day in Prospect Park

September 20, 2023

Join Prospect Park Alliance at the second annual City of Forest Day on Saturday, October 14 in Prospect Park. Presented by Forest for All NYC in partnership with the Parks and Open Space Partners – NYC Coalition and NYC Department of Parks and Recreation, City of Forest Day is a day of activities across the city to raise awareness of the importance of the New York City urban forest, and the essential role New Yorkers play every day in caring for the “lungs” of our city. Prospect Park Alliance presents an array of activities to raise awareness and celebrate Brooklyn’s forest including nature education programming and a volunteer opportunity in Brooklyn’s Backyard.

Check out the full list of 70+ events happening across New York City!

Prospect Park Events:

Park Pitch In: City of Forest Day
11:00 am – 2:00 pm
Free, Registration Required
Join Prospect Park Alliance for a Park Pitch In volunteer event on City of Forest Day, a citywide effort to raise awareness and celebrate New York City’s urban forest. Prospect Park Alliance volunteers will plant over 100 native trees to restore Prospect Park’s beloved landscape, which has seen the loss of a significant number of ash trees since 2017 due to Emerald Ash Borer, a deadly wood-boring beetle. Tree planting and other greening opportunities will be focused on the park entrance on Flatbush Avenue near Empire Boulevard, adjacent to the park’s Children’s Corner, and the surrounding park perimeter. This event is suitable for groups, teens and adults.

Park Pitch In: City of Forest Day is made possible thanks to funding from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Urban and Community Forestry Program, NYS Environmental Protection Fund and the USDA Forest Service.

City of Forest Day: Nature Exploration
10:00 am – 1:00 pm
Free, no advance registration necessary

Join Prospect Park Alliance and Audubon New York for nature exploration activities at the Prospect Park Audubon Center on City of Forest Day, a citywide effort to raise awareness and celebrate New York City’s urban forest. Prospect Park is home to over 30,000 trees of more than 175 species. Each of these trees is an important part of our thriving wildlife habitat and home to many species of mammals, birds and bugs.

  • Morning Bird Walk, 9 – 10:30 am: Join Audubon New York for a bird walk starting and ending at the Prospect Park Audubon Center. This program leaves the Audubon Center promptly at 9:00 am. Binoculars will be provided but attendees are encouraged to bring binoculars if you have them.
  • Nature Around Us, 10 am – 1 pm: Enjoy different seasonal discovery stations and nature themed activities that will introduce you to the plants, insects and animals that call the park home. Learn how to use the iNaturalist App and identify species throughout our park ecosystem, view a trailer of a new documentary Clear Day Thunder: Rescuing the American Chestnut, and more. Plus, visit the Audubon New York table from 10:30 am – 12 pm to learn more about birds and how to help them thrive.
  • Animal Encounter, 11 am – 12 pm: Join Prospect Park Alliance Naturalists in learning more about the animals in the Audubon Center’s collection. This program starts promptly at 11 am.
  • Family Nature Walk, 12 – 1 pm: Prospect Park is a stopping point for hundreds of bird species each year! Join us as we search for these amazing creatures and other nature around the park. Binoculars and bird guides are provided. This program leaves the Audubon Center promptly at 12 pm.
c. Martin Seck

September is Tree Appreciation Month!

September 6, 2023

September has arrived and Prospect Park Alliance is ringing in Tree Appreciation Month!

Be a Park Champion and help us extend our Summer of Stewardship into the fall. Prospect Park is home to over 30,000 trees of over 175 varieties—and each plays an essential role in keeping our human and wildlife communities healthy and happy. Take a look at some of the ways you can help celebrate and support the beloved trees of Brooklyn’s Backyard this season:

  • Remember to #BeAParkChampion: While the park’s trees may appear big and strong, like all living things they are susceptible to injury and disease. With over 10 million visitors in the park each year, the trees in Prospect Park need all of our support. Please do not hang hammocks or decorations from our trees, and avoid climbing or breaking branches. Remember to also stay on designated paths in the woodlands to protect fragile wildlife habitats to help our trees thrive for generations to come!
  • Fall Volunteering in the Park: Want to take a hands-on approach to caring for the park and its trees? Prospect Park Alliance has a full slate of fall volunteer opportunities. From our weekend Park Pitch In events to Junior Volunteer Corps for kids and families, there are many ways to lend a hand in your park. Plus, mark your calendars for City of Forest Day to celebrate NYC’s urban forest on Saturday, October 14!
  • Soar Into Fall Migration: Wonder what makes Prospect Park the best bed and breakfast in town for migrating birds in the fall months? Learn about the trees that provide birds with essential fuel and protection as they make their journey to warmer climates and learn about bird watching opportunities with the Brooklyn Bird Club.
  • Enjoy the Health Benefits of Nature: Get active outdoors in Prospect Park by taking part in one of the many free wellness opportunities offered this fall, from nature walks for adults ages 60+ and a fun-filled pop dance class, there is something for everyone to get active this season. 

Want to invite friends and family to join the fun? Send an Rx for Nature Today!

c. Elizabeth-Keegin-Colley

August is Waterways Appreciation Month

August 1, 2023

Did you know? The watercourse that flows through Prospect Park is a haven for fish, birds, turtles, frogs and plants. This August, we hope you’ll join us in being a Park Champion as we celebrate Waterways Appreciation Month.

Lend a Hand  in Brooklyn’s Backyard
All month long, Prospect Park Alliance has opportunities for you to lend a hand and support the park ecosystem. Join an upcoming Green + Go Kit or It’s My Park Day event to explore the park while tackling litter and helping with other greening opportunities throughout the park. Sign up to volunteer.


Enjoy Family-Friendly Waterway Exploration at Pop-Up Audubon
Visit the Prospect Park Audubon Center’s Pop-Up Audubon in August to enjoy a family-friendly waterway walk through the Ravine and learn about the many species of plants and animals that live alongside the park’s woodland waterfalls.

Fish Responsibly
Fishing is permitted in the Prospect Park Lake, and we ask all who participate to be Park Champions and follow the essential rules:

Explore 6 Tips on How to Care for the Lake with Every Visit
Wonder how you can help support the health of Brooklyn’s only Lake with each visit to the park? Check out 6 Lake stewardship tips, including carrying out litter, admiring animals from afar and more. Please remember that while the Lake is a cherished part of Brooklyn nature, it is not intended for swimming. Please take caution when near any waterbody and only swim at city pools and beaches where and when lifeguards are on duty.

Send a Loved One an Rx for Nature
Invite a loved one to join you for a visit to Prospect Park’s Watercourse and enjoy the health-boosting benefits of nature together. You and your Rx recipient will be entered to win a Prospect Park Alliance Family Supporter Level Membership so you can make the most of Brooklyn’s Backyard all year long!

Pledge to Be a Park Champion
Prospect Park is essential to the health and wellbeing of millions of community members and the hundreds of species of plants and wildlife that call Brooklyn’s Backyard home. Today, take an important step and pledge to Be a Park Champion, and enter to win great prizes.

Learn about the Park’s Watercourse
Take a free, self-guided audio tour of Prospect Park’s watercourse—a marvel of nature, history and eco-innovation. Prospect Park’s watercourse is a natural wonder but also a feat of engineering: home to the borough’s 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.

Learn much more about being a Park Champion in Prospect Park.

Commemorate MLK Day in Prospect Park

January 2, 2023

Join Prospect Park Alliance to commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Prospect Park with programming to give back to your community and learn about the environment around us in Brooklyn’s Backyard. Sign up for a volunteer opportunity to help keep Prospect Park vibrant, then make the most of the school holiday with family-friendly nature exploration opportunities including a winter wilderness walk, animal encounters, and more at the Audubon Center.

Day of Service: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Between 10 am – 1 pm, Music Pagoda, Free, Registration Required
Commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day with a day of service in Prospect Park. Make a difference on this official day of giving back to honor Dr. King’s legacy alongside communities across the country.

Join Prospect Park Alliance to care for your park by focusing efforts around the Music Pagoda in Brooklyn’s Backyard and spreading wood chips, raking leaves, removing litter and more. Families, teens and adults are welcome.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day School Holiday at the Prospect Park Audubon Center
12-4 pm, Prospect Park Audubon Center, Free
Join Prospect Park Alliance for indoor and outdoor nature education programs at the Prospect Park Audubon Center, the first urban Audubon Center in the nation.

  • Discovery Pack, 12–3 pm: Bundle up and explore Prospect Park with our Discovery Packs, a ready-to-go kit filled with nature activities for families.
  • Animal Encounter, 2–3 pm: Join Alliance Naturalists in learning more about the animals in the Audubon Center’s collection. This program starts promptly at 2 pm.
  • Winter Wilderness Walk, 3-4 pm: Curious about animal tracks in the snow, how trees survive without leaves, or how bugs stay warm? Join an Alliance Naturalist for a tour of how plants and animals live in the winter months. This program leaves from the Audubon Center promptly at 3 pm.

Re:New Volunteers Tackle Summer

August 8, 2022

Volunteers with Prospect Park Alliance’s Re:New Initiative have been hard at work all summer long to keep Brooklyn’s Backyard green and vibrant. The Re:New initiative was launched in May of 2021 as a way to serve our community and meet the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the surge of visitors and increased use of the park. Since the program’s inception, Prospect Park Alliance has seen enthusiastic engagement from community members looking to lend a hand in Brooklyn’s Backyard. So far in 2022 alone the team has completed 20 Re:New volunteer events with over 145 participants– an ever-increasing number with weekly events throughout the year.

For over two years, the Re:New Volunteer Corps has met weekly in different locations to help with a variety of essential projects to improve and sustain Brooklyn’s Backyard and make marked change across the park. Tyrell Ingram, Prospect Park Alliance’s Volunteer Services Program Coordinator, works closely with the Re:New initiative and shared just how essential the volunteer corps has been to the park this season. “Even during this especially hot summer season we’ve had, volunteers have completed so much in their work. These projects work towards a broad range of maintenance and restoration: the group helps maintain the Alliance’s donor trees by regularly applying mulch where needed, removing litter and invasives, edging paths, painting benches and containers and much more.”

A transformational recent Re:New project where volunteers focused on the Lincoln Road Playground to place sand in the sandbox, remove weeds, and collect litter to beautify the playground. 

Volunteers recently mulched paths on Lookout Hill, edged paths along center drive, and removed bags of litter from the area with the Re:New Corps.

Volunteers at a recent July Re:New Volunteer Corps Event where the team focused efforts around Parkside + Ocean Avenue. Volunteers painted, removed over 20 bags of weeds and 30 bags of trash.

Want to get involved? Join Prospect Park Alliance this Fall at an upcoming  Re:New Volunteer Event held every Tuesday afternoon through November 22 and Friday mornings through August 26.

Learn more about volunteer opportunities in Brooklyn’s Backyard and get involved.

July is Lake Appreciation Month

July 6, 2022

Did you know? Prospect Park is home to Brooklyn’s only Lake, a 60-acre haven for numerous species of fish, birds, turtles, frogs and plants. The Lake also attracts plenty of human admirers, and this July, we hope you’ll join us in being a Park Champion as we celebrate Lake Appreciation Month.

Volunteer at the Lake
All July, Prospect Park Alliance has opportunities for you to lend a hand during Park Pitch In days! Join us for clean up projects on select Saturdays and Sundays—volunteers will be given grabbers, nets, and bags to help fish out trash from along the shoreline of our Lake. Appropriate for supervised youth ages 4-13, Teens and Adults. Sign up to volunteer.

Fish Responsibly
Fishing is permitted in the Prospect Park Lake, and we ask all who participate to be Park Champions and follow these simple rules:

Learn more on our Fishing page. 

Pledge to be a Park Champion
Prospect Park is essential to the health and wellbeing of millions of community members, and the hundreds of species of plants and wildlife that call Brooklyn’s Backyard home. Today, take an important step and pledge to Be A Park Champion, and enter to win great prizes.

Learn much more about being a Park Champion in Prospect Park.

Re:New Initiative Returns for 2022

May 9, 2022

Prospect Park is the place to be for our community, which is why Prospect Park Alliance, the non-profit that sustains Brooklyn’s Backyard, is continuing the Re:New Prospect Park initiative for a second year. These efforts help serve our community to meet the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and the surge of visitors in the park.

Due to the pandemic, Prospect Park Alliance lost critical funding which resulted in a reduced workforce and resources. This combined with an increase in park visitors led to the park getting much more love than it can handle. However, thanks to the support of our community of donors and volunteers over the past two years, the park has been able to weather the storm, and the Alliance is placing much-needed funds to continue our Re:New efforts in time for our busiest season.

“Prospect Park has been so important for all of us these last two years. Our community has supported the park as volunteers, donors and advocates, and enabled us to sustain this essential green oasis,” said Prospect Park Alliance Interim President James Snow. 

“During the pandemic, it was made abundantly clear just how vital parks are to the health and wellbeing of this city,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue. “As we continue to recover, our priority is to ensure that parks in all neighborhoods are clean, green and safe. We are so grateful for the support of our partners at the Prospect Park Alliance who share in our commitment through programs like the Re:New Initiative.”

Critical support for this initiative is made possible through generous funding from Amazon, and many generous individuals and community members who make annual contributions to the Alliance. Learn more about Prospect Park Alliance membership.

Re:New Prospect Park Initiatives

Park Maintenance
Prospect Park Alliance has partnered with ACE New York, a non-profit that empowers the homeless, to provide additional maintenance resources to help clean the park on peak weekdays and weekend evenings through October. In addition, the Alliance has brought on board four groundskeepers to help supplement NYC Parks maintenance crews during this busiest time of year. The crew is partially funded via a grant from Amazon.

“Prospect Park is a local gem offering healthy outdoor recreation to Brooklyn families,” said Carley Graham Garcia, Amazon’s Head of Community Affairs in New York. “This creative initiative offers new job opportunities, while ensuring Prospect Park continues to serve our local neighborhood especially as we head into the summer months. Amazon is thrilled to renew this partnership for Summer 2022.”

To support these efforts, Prospect Park Alliance is encouraging park visitors to carry out their trash via promotional signage at all park entrances. The Alliance has also installed large trash receptacles in key areas of the park.

Park Improvements
The Alliance will continue the re-investment in the park to tackle important improvement projects through funding from our community of donors. Work will take place to improve pedestrian pathways, repair stonework at the Lakeside esplanade and locations throughout the park, install new picnic tables at the Wellhouse barbecue area, and improve drainage throughout the park—an increasingly critical tool in improving the resilience of the park against major rain and flooding events.

In 2021, the Re:New initiative successfully brought improvements to every corner of the park. The Lincoln Road comfort station received a complete makeover, new barbecues, furnishings and fixtures were installed at the popular Picnic House and Bandshell barbecue areas, new benches were added to the beloved Drummer’s Grove, and broken ornamental brickwork at the historic Boathouse terrance was repaired.

Volunteer Opportunities
Prospect Park Alliance has brought back the popular Re:New Volunteer Corps—a weekly volunteer program that tackles park improvement projects made necessary by the high volume of visitors. The crew works alongside Alliance staff to maintain playgrounds, painting over unsightly graffiti, weed areas overgrown with invasive plants and repaint park benches and railings.

In 2021, the Re:New Volunteer Corps was a great success and the crew worked on a variety of park improvement projects. Over the course of the season, they removed 2.6 tons of invasive vines and weeds; filled 250 holes on the Long Meadow; replenished all playground sandboxes; and sanded and painted 270 linear feet of hand railing, 121 benches, 46 entrance bollards, and the 10 storage containers on Center Drive.

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 Amazon
Amazon is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Fire tablets, Fire TV, Amazon Echo, and Alexa are some of the products and services pioneered by Amazon. For more information, visit amazon.com/about and follow @AmazonNews.

About ACE
ACE was founded in 1992 and provides job-readiness training, work experience, all around support, and much more to New Yorkers who have histories of homelessness, incarceration and addiction. At ACE, men and women overcome barriers through hard work to reach their goals of full-time employment, economic self-sufficiency, and family reunification. Over 3,000 men and women have secured full-time employment through ACE’s programs. Learn more at acenewyork.org.

Paul Martinka

Prospect Park Enjoys Wave of Community Support

May 11, 2021

In July of 2020, New York City Parks were faced with an impossible challenge. Just as New Yorkers surged to the parks to escape the confinement of their homes, the City announced the Parks budget was being cut by $84 million. What unfolded was a summer of parks across the city trying desperately to keep up with the record crowds and ensuing litter.

Luckily, as parks experienced their time of need, New Yorkers realized just how much they needed their parks reports the Wall Street Journal. As one of the only places to safely social distance, New Yorkers were doing everything, from workout routines to birthday parties, in parks. And with more time at the park, there was more time to notice the errant takeout container or patchy flower bed. In the past year, New Yorkers citywide stepped up to volunteer at or donate to parks, sometimes at record levels as the Journal discovered while connecting with parks across the city.

Between July 2020 and March 2021, Prospect Park Alliance alone saw a 142% increase in new volunteers and a 42% increase in individual donors. Thanks to this rise in community involvement, Prospect Park Alliance is making essential improvements throughout the park and engaging more workers to ensure that Brooklyn’s Backyard is renewed and ready for all visitors. Alliance President Sue Donoghue took Journal reporter Anne Kadet on a tour of the park to point out improvements the nonprofit is making, thanks to the windfall. They include new benches and landscaping at the Drummer’s Grove and upgraded restrooms, not to mention new picnic tables, coal bins and communal grills in the barbecue areas. 

Read about New Yorkers who have stepped up to take care of their parks in The Wall Street Journal. Interested in becoming a Prospect Park Alliance volunteer? Visit our Volunteer page to learn more and register.

Volunteer Season Kicks Off

March 17, 2021

Prospect Park Alliance is gearing up for longer days, warmer weather and lots of visitors to Brooklyn’s Backyard. Ready to pitch in to keep the park green and vibrant this coming season? We’ve got plenty of ways for you to do your part for your park and your community. 

Green and Go Kits
Many Saturdays and Sundays, 10 am – 1 pm, Locations Vary

Individuals or groups are invited to join Prospect Park Alliance to help keep our park green and vibrant—register to check out Green and Go Kits at various locations around the park. These kits include a trash grabber, garbage bags and gloves. Green and Go Kits are presented in partnership with Macy’s.

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Junior Volunteer Corps
April 11 + 24, 10 am – 1 pm, Locations Vary, Registration Required

Join Prospect Park Alliance for a day of fun as we prepare the park for spring! Families are invited to join us to rake leaves. Come learn the value of service and meet other families and children on this day of giving back.

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It’s My Park Mondays
Mondays starting May 3 excluding holidays, 10 am – 1 pm, Locations Vary

Join Prospect Park Alliance for It’s My Park Mondays, a series of community volunteer events where you can help keep the park clean during these challenging times. Individuals will be provided with a trash grabber, garbage bags and gloves. We will also have a limited supply of materials available for walk-ins. 

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Carry In + Carry Out Your Trash
Please carry out of the park everything you bring into the park with you, and please clean up your trash and litter. If you are able to carry out your trash, you will be doing your park a great service. If this is not possible, please use the large trash receptacles that Prospect Park Alliance has installed in key areas of the park. File



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.