See the wonders of Bushwick Inlet Park’s 50 Kent NOW OPEN
The second part of Bushwick Inlet Park (50 Kent Avenue) has opened as of April 18. This two-acre portion has 24-hour access. From the sidewalk you see bright yellow chairs and purple flowers in bloom in several plant beds that are also occupied by young magnolia trees and other plants and flowers yet to blossom. You also see a landscaped tiered hill where witch hazel and other plants have only begun to take root in their new vertical home.
Climb up the steps along the earthen wall and you’ll arrive at a landing with benches and squared off boulders (that can be used as seating). Midtown Manhattan’s spires and landmarks are on view, but much nearer, not even a stone’s throw away are two of the lushest lawns I’ve yet seen. New grass, full and unmown (as of this writing on 04.25.2022). A little girl was enthralled and looked to be trying to invent the cartwheel for herself just to sink her hands into it. Then a dog took a gleeful roll in it. I finally know why Wordsworth found grass splendiferous.
Note: dogs are to be leashed in this park. Signs have yet to go up, hence some dog owners have pled this lack for giving their dogs free rein.
There were also two smallish coyote-quins or decoyotes — how else would you say mannequins that are coyote shaped or decoy coyotes? Sadly, one has already been stolen. Little does the thief know these coyotes have an important job to do: keep the Canadian geese away. So now it’s up to one to do double duty. Canadian geese eat grass, and if you’ve ever encountered Canadian goose poop, you know why you need some form of scare-geese to keep the lawn picnic blanket friendly. If someone knows the whereabouts of the stolen coyote, please help it return to this park.
When asked if there are any upcoming events planned for the park, Steve Chesler, co-founder of Friends of Bushwick Park, said, “Not yet. Because the opening date was fluid we held off planning events there. At this point we’re keeping late summer or fall in mind for potentially scheduling things.”
To the question of what 50 Kent brings to the whole of the Bushwick Inlet Park plan, Chesler answered, “It’s difficult to make that distinction because the park is being developed in non-contiguous phases, in sort of an eclectic patchwork. And, it depends who is using the park. 86 Kent is dominated by soccer playing and the district park headquarters building. Now passive park users will converge on 50 Kent for major chilling and taking in the views — though the shoreline at 86 Kent is an under-the-radar gem.”
Chesler cited the brightly colored spray showers as a surprise development as it wasn’t on the original plan. Other elements of the park that were planned and realized are chess tables and chairs, yellow lounge chairs, and a modern twist on the 1964 World’s Fair bench as the slats are made of polywood or composite lumber. There are many shade trees planted along the border of the park that in time will become a natural privacy wall.
As to what the next steps for Bushwick Inlet Park are, Chesler said, “Even with these two new acres of park coming online, there are still 21 acres remaining to develop. The two-acre Motiva section surrounding most of Bushwick Inlet is funded and designed, but is still being reviewed by various agencies before entering the remediation and construction phases. The large CitiStorage section to the south and west of 50 Kent received significant city funding towards warehouse demolition and park development. No news on a time table for this. The large Bayside site to the north of 50 Kent does not have any funds budgeted towards its development. It, and as will the CitiStorage parcel, will require extensive remediation. This new parcel map we created with the Pratt Institute lays out each section of the park https://bushwickinletpark.org/parcel-map/ .
On May 7 from 10 a.m.–1p.m., Bushwick Inlet Park and Transmitter Park are participating in the 11th Annual Riverkeeper Sweep. For more info and to register to volunteer for this event go to bushwickinletpark.org or transmitterpark.org .