Local Nature Outings Are In

Under the K-Bridge Park with a view of the bridge’s “sails”

Last updated on 07.14.21 to include the new performance date of BombaYo! at Bushwick Inlet Park.

During the “Stay at Home” status of the previous many months getting out into local nature was a safe and welcoming escape.  Parks and beaches saw an increase of attendance.  Even though we are now emerging from the quarantine lifestyle of the recent past and have ever widening choices to getting out there — outings in our new and old public spaces are still seeing a rise in attendance.  Also organized group outings are coming back.

(l to r) Acacia Thompson (Greenpoint Library’s Environmental Justice Coordinator) and Lily Lasovic (of NYC Audubon) led a bird walk through Msgr. McGorick Park to McCarren Park on June 13.

Greenpoint Library — Audubon Bird Walks and more

At a northern entrance of McCarren Park, the second leg of the Audubon birding walk organized by the Greenpoint Library. Lily Lasovic was the Audubon guide Photo Credit: Acacia Thompson

Audubon birding walks returned on June 13.   The walks bring you out to Msgr. McGolrick Park early on a weekend morning to see the bird life in that park, in McCarren Park, and that which is found along the way between the two parks.  These walks went on hiatus in 2020 due to COVID-19 safety protocols.   For the June 13 walk we met at the angel statue (a fittingly winged landmark for meeting up).  Lily Lasovic (of NYC Audubon) was the guide and brought binoculars for those who needed them.  Acacia Thompson (Greenpoint Library’s Environmental Justice Coordinator) was also present as the organizer of the outing. Highlights of this walk were spotting a nest of Red-tailed Hawks and a fledgling Audubon’s Oriole in McCarren Park.  It’s a lovely way to start the day.  More birding walks will take place to catch the fall migration.

Other environmental programming to look forward to from the Greenpoint Library are tree ID walks, gardening workshops, children’s environmental workshops, environmental book club, a history series, and a solar series: dates are TBD.  Like and keep an eye on the Greenpoint Library Facebook Page for updates.

From May 15–November 1 McCarren Park has its own take on Cleopatra’s Needle

McCarren Park — NEW Pollinator Garden and Art Piece
776 Lorimer Street

In case you hadn’t known, June 21–27 was Pollinator Week, observed internationally.  McCarren Park was just in time to mark Pollinator Week 2021 with the debut of their new pollinator garden.  You will find it nearby the southeast corner of the track.

On the southwest side of the track is an art piece called “Miguelito” by Michael Zelehoski  as part of the “The Plywood Protection Project” a Worthless Studios production.  This public art project repurposed into sculptures the plywood used to cover NYC storefronts during the 2020 protests.  There are five sculptures, one in in each borough, and can be viewed from May 15, 2021 – November 1, 2021.

Aerial drone photo of Phase 2 and Phase 3 taken on May 6, 2021 Photo Credit: NYC Water flickr

Newtown Creek Nature Walk — Full Walk Completed
329 Greenpoint Avenue

A park described by the tagline: where industry meets nature cut the ribbon on its finished final leg on June 21.  The project includes an over-water extension that connects the existing section of the walk, on the west side of Whale Creek, to a new land-based portion on the east side of the creek, which extends to Kingsland Avenue.

The Nature Walk is designed by artist George Trakas as a commission through Department of Cultural Affairs’ Percent for Art Program.  The new addition makes the walk accessible to the public from either side of the Department of Environmental Protection’s 53-acre Newtown Creek Wastewater Resource Recovery Facility.

There is also the Paidge Avenue Pollinator Pathway near one of the entrances.

Under the K Bridge Park section that captures a view of the K Bridge’s “sails”

Under the K Bridge Park — Where Greenpoint meets Williamsburg on the Newtown Creek
Van Dam St, Meeker Avenue

At the end of May, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the completion of Under the K Bridge Park.  It Features elevated lawns, a rain garden, wetland gardens and wooded areas.  There are more than 20,000 trees and offers views of the Manhattan skyline and the Kosciuszko Bridge’s “sails”.   The park is reachable from the street level and from the bridge as there is a connector path to and from the pedestrian and bike paths on the Brooklyn-bound span of the Kosciuszko Bridge.

Spend City of Water Day 2021 (July 10) with Friends of Bushwick Inlet Park! Marine biologists from the Coastal Classroom will lead the community in workshops to discover and explore marine life at low tide on the Bushwick Inlet Park jetty.

Bushwick Inlet Park
86 Kent Avenue

It was recently announced that Bushwick Inlet Park was named one of this year’s Excellence in Design Award Recipients named by NYC Public Design Commission.  However, this part of the park is only in the design phase.  The park as it stands has regular programming: art classes, live performance, outdoor movies, and if you like gardening every Wednesday you can volunteer to weed from 6 p.m.–7:30 p.m.  On July 8th  (6:30 p.m.–8 p.m.) Due to potential rain out this event will be rescheduled: BombaYo will perform as part of the Summer Music in BIP series on July 15 at 6:30 p.m., on the Bushwick Inlet Park waterfront esplanade.

City of Water Day (July 10) will be celebrated at Bushwick Inlet Park from 10 a.m.–2 p.m.

Activities will include a seining (fishing with a net which hangs vertically in the water with floats at the top and weights at the bottom edge) demonstration and organism identification, marine food chains discussions, water quality testing and talk about the human impacts to aquatic ecosystems in NYC.

The biologists will seine the shoreline for marine life. Participants 16 and older can assist them but must sign a waiver. Registration is required.

For updates on these and other events go to:  https://bushwickinletpark.org/events/

Join the North Brooklyn Community Boathouse for a public paddle

North Brooklyn Community Boathouse — Public Paddle Series
51 Ash Street

Saturday, June 5th kicked off 2021’s Public Paddle series.  The next opportunities to voyage on the Newtown Creek are:  Saturday, July 10, 12-4 PM: Big Canoes;  Sunday, July 18, 12-4 PM: Sit-on-top kayaks, and  Sunday, August 15, 12-4 PM: Sit-on-top kayaks

At these free, informal paddles, North Brooklyn Community Boathouse welcomes walk-up participants to join trained guides for short trips on Newtown Creek and often out toward the East River to take in the view of Manhattan.  Paddling together while guided by experts brings a unique experience to participants.  Public paddles are free and open to everyone.  For more information: https://northbrooklynboatclub.org/events-public/

Originally published on 07.01.21

Author: Lori Ann Doyon

Managing editor, head writer, and lead photographer of Greenline | North Brooklyn News since October 2014. Resident of Williamsburg, Brooklyn since 1990.

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