GREENPOINT – As the Newtown Creek Alliance looks to develop an empty parcel of city land into an environmental “Gateway to Greenpoint,” they’re reaching out to the community to contribute their vision of the space.
The project goal is to transform the 13,000 sq. ft. lot, which is located behind the iconic “harvester eggs” of the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant, into a public access space of ecological benefit among the industrial sites on Greenpoint and Kingsland Avenues.
After a kickoff community visioning meeting in late November, the Newtown Creek Alliance has created an online survey for residents to give their input on what they’d like to see in the space as well as the concerns they have about the surrounding industrial area.
With heavy truck traffic along Greenpoint Avenue, air quality in the area is a major concern for many nearby residents. With that traffic comes safety concerns for pedestrians as well—part of the reason the Newtown Creek Alliance is surveying residents.
When completed, the new space will become part of a greater network of green space at the far end of Greenpoint’s Industrial Business Zone, include with wild roof at Kingsland Wildflowers, the North Henry Street Basin and a Nature Walk.
Currently, just Kingsland Wildflowers has been completed, opening in 2017. Restoration is ongoing at the North Henry Street Basin, while the Nature Walk is slated for 2020.
The effort to transform the lot is a collaboration between the Newtown Creek Alliance, the business group Evergreen Exchange and the design firm Interval Projects, who are working with the community to create a plan for presentation to the city.
The transformation of available land into public, green space is a major concern across a neighborhood long characterized by pollution and heavy industrial use. Luckily, years of community outreach has led to a neighborhood-wide focus on remediation and environmental stewardship.
The new Greenpoint Library, due to be completed in summer 2019, will provide more than 300 hours of environmental programming each year.
Nearby, the community board has been working closely with the city on the designs of both Bushwick Inlet Park and the Box Street Park, which represent some of the last major greenspaces remaining to be designed in the neighborhood.
A follow-up Community Visioning Workshop for the Gateway to Greenpoint is slated for February 2019.