FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 5, 2010
MAYOR BLOOMBERG, GOVERNOR PATERSON AND LOCAL ELECTED OFFICIALS OPEN PIER 6 AT BROOKLYN BRIDGE PARK AND KICK OFF GOVERNORS ISLAND'S 2010 PUBLIC SEASON
New, Free Ferry Will Connect Brooklyn Bridge Park and Governors Island on Weekends
Governors Island Opens to the Public Every Friday to Sunday through October 10
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Governor David A. Paterson and local officials today opened the newest section of Brooklyn Bridge Park at Pier 6 and kicked off the Governors Island 2010 public access season. Mayor Bloomberg also announced new, free weekend ferry service between Brooklyn Bridge Park and Governors Island during the Governors Island 2010 season. Pier 6, located at the foot of Atlantic Avenue, features a playground with a water play space, 21 swings, slides, a 6,000-square-foot sandbox and a marsh garden. The Governors Island's public access season, which runs through October 10, will feature a wide variety of free activities, performances and programs for visitors of all ages. Mayor Bloomberg was joined at the announcement at Pier 6 by a host of local officials.
"Brooklyn Bridge Park and Governors Island are two of New York City's most spectacular public spaces that are reconnecting New Yorkers and visitors from around the world to our waterfront," said Mayor Bloomberg. "Not only will they both provide new opportunities for recreation, they will also host an array of arts and cultural programs. It will be an exciting summer for the two destinations, and it's just the start of what's to come for both."
Earlier this year, Mayor Bloomberg, Governor Paterson, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and State Senator Daniel L. Squadron announced agreements on the long-term development, funding and governance of Brooklyn Bridge Park and Governors Island in which New York City will have primary responsibility to develop and operate the park and island.
In addition to the playground, Pier 6 features a dog run located near the Atlantic Avenue park entrance, and a bikeway and pedestrian promenade that leads from the playground onto the Pier and provides views of Lower Manhattan and the New York Harbor. Later this year, additional sections of Pier 6 will open including three sand volleyball courts and additional lawn areas. Next year, a restaurant concession with an outdoor roof deck will open. The $55 million park at Pier 6 was funded by the City, State, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, City Council and Office of the Brooklyn Borough President. When complete, Brooklyn Bridge Park will be a sustainably-built and operated 85-acre park stretching 1.3 miles along Brooklyn's East River edge and will include lawns, active recreation fields and courts, a calm water boating basin for non-motorized craft, restored ecological habitats, playgrounds, and a shared bikeway/walkway. Pier 1 opened to the public in March 2010.
Governors Island is open to the public every Friday to Sunday through October 10 for a wide variety of free activities, performances and programs for visitors of all ages to enjoy. Governors Island anticipates welcoming 400,000 visitors this season, compared to 275,000 last year. Free ferries run between Manhattan and Governors Island every Friday to Sunday. Free ferries run from Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park on Saturdays and Sundays. The ferry runs continuously between these two destinations beginning at 11:00 AM. In addition, NYC & Company, in conjunction with New York Water Taxi is piloting a new ferry service between Brooklyn Bridge Park and Manhattan from Friday to Sunday.
Governors Island and Brooklyn Bridge Park are two of the nine waterfront destinations that comprise NYHarborWay a new initiative by Mayor Bloomberg being led by NYC & Company. The goal of NYHarborWay is to make the New York Harbor a major recreational destination for New Yorkers and visitors. The initiative will eventually connect the nine major waterfront points of interest by ferry or bike greenways. Additionally, the waterfront destinations will have cohesive programming and a local and global marketing and communications effort to drive visitation.
"We are so pleased that today we open Brooklyn's newest green space to the public," said Governor Paterson. "Together with the beginning of Governors Island's season, New Yorkers will now have more spaces than ever before for play, explore and relax. A new era for our city and our great state is unfolding on this waterfront and I invite every New Yorker - and everyone who loves New York - to come see it, enjoy it, and be a part of it."
"The ongoing expansion and development of Brooklyn Bridge Park and Governors Island are among the most exciting and dynamic public projects in New York City today," said Congressman Jerry Nadler. "Free ferry service between Pier 6 and Governors Island will open up the Island to more and more visitors, who will have the opportunity to enjoy this great and underutilized New York attraction. I am pleased to have supported the redevelopment of Governors Island, Castle Williams and Fort Jay over the years, and I look forward to their increased visibility and accessibility."
"Hundreds of thousands have already been able to enjoy Pier 1 in Brooklyn Bridge Park," said Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez. "I am so pleased that Pier 6, including the new playground, provides acres of additional public space for Brooklyn residents and others to play, relax and enjoy the waterfront."
"Expanding ferry service and capitalizing on our city's unparalleled blue highways has been a major priority of the New York City Council over the last several years," said New York City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn. "Directly connecting these two burgeoning public spaces via ferry this summer will attract thousands of New Yorkers to our incredible waterfront parks and will further show New Yorkers the ease of travelling by ferry."
"After many years of work to secure funding for this initiative, I'm proud and happy to see the opening of the floating dock at Pier 6," said Public Advocate Bill de Blasio. "Starting today, not only can Brooklyn residents enjoy the newest section of Brooklyn Bridge Park, but the new dock makes it possible for them to explore other areas of the New York Harbor, including Governors Island."
"Only 400 yards separates Brooklyn Bridge Park from Governors Island - in fact, our Brooklyn dairy farmers used to bring their cows over the 'Buttermilk Channel' to graze, so why not make it a modern-day day trip!" said Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz. "The free ferry service will allow visitors to travel between Brooklyn and Governors Island in a mere three minutes. And now with Pier 6 open, we've got another gem in the green necklace that is Brooklyn Bridge Park, allowing Brooklynites to enjoy a beautiful destination playground, as well as all the programming and events accessible on Governors Island. Bravo!"
"This new ferry service will provide a bridge between two local parks that only recently came under the stewardship of New York City," said Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer. "The development and enrichment opportunities emerging at both Brooklyn Bridge Park and Governors Island will shape the future of these cherished greenspaces, and we want to make sure that all New Yorkers can access and enjoy them. I am honored to welcome Brooklyn residents and New Yorkers from across the City to Manhattan's southern-most shore."
"Brooklyn Bridge Park has already shown its potential to be one of our City's great public spaces, and today's opening of Pier 6 is another important step in achieving a true harbor park for our community and our City," said State Senator Daniel Squadron. "The ferry is an integral part of our vision, connecting Pier 6 and Governors Island for all the park's visitors. I thank community leaders and my colleagues in government for their ongoing effort to make Brooklyn Bridge Park a reality."
"Last summer, we stood in the construction of Pier 6 to announce funding for the dock we open today," said State Assembly Member Joan Millman. "Today, we stand in a place that has been transformed into Brooklyn's newest public green space with a beautiful new dock that will allow Brooklyn residents and visitors to this great borough to access Governors Island. Congratulations to Regina Myer and the Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation for an outstanding job."
"Governors Island is a great resource for Lower Manhattan and for New York. A great many residents from the Lower East Side, Chinatown, and the Financial District have enjoyed the open green spaces, free biking and other activities on Governors Island," said New York City Council Member Margaret Chin. "I am pleased that New York's children and families will continue to enjoy this wonderful space."
"Pier 6 is an incredible new addition to this wonderful park. Brooklyn Bridge Park has already been a resounding success. Brooklynites, and all New Yorkers, have been able to relax, play, and enjoy this park," said City Council Member Stephen Levin. "I am pleased that all Brooklynites, including those of Greenpoint, Williamsburg, Park Slope, Boerum Hill, Brooklyn Heights, DUMBO, and Vinegar Hill will be able to enjoy this new public space and directly access."
"Brooklyn's waterfront is one of its greatest resources," said City Council Member Brad Lander. "Today's announcement opens the waterfront up even further for Brooklyn residents to enjoy Pier 6 and Governors Island."
"Today's opening of Brooklyn Bridge Park's Pier 6 with its destination playground, promenades and spectacular plantings makes Brooklyn's new front yard on the waterfront even more majestic," said Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe. "The inclusion of a water taxi dock providing access to Governors Island is one of the park's innovative features. I commend the Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation and the Port Authority for their commitment to provide another means of sustainable transportation."
"The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has been pleased to work on the dock that we open today," said Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Executive Director Chris Ward. "This dock provides an essential new access point to New York Harbor that many New York City residents will be able to use and enjoy."
"A great number of Lower Manhattan residents use Governors Island for sports and free cultural events," said Manhattan Community Board 1 Chair Julie Menin. "I am so pleased that the Island is open for yet another season with more cultural and recreational events than ever."
"Brooklyn residents have long dreamt of a park at Pier 6 and a direct ferry connection to Governors Island," said Brooklyn Community Board 2 Chair John Dew. "We are so pleased that today, standing in this beautiful section of Brooklyn Bridge Park, that connection becomes a reality and Brooklynites can travel between these two wonderful destinations for free."
"Our residents are thrilled that today we can travel between one of Brooklyn's greatest spaces, and one of the Harbor's greatest resources," said Brooklyn Community Board 6 Chair Richard Bashner. "And as an added bonus, we are most eager to start enjoying the new playground, dog run and promenade at Pier 6."
"I am so proud to welcome everyone to Pier 6 today" said Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation President Regina Myer. This inventive playground, designed by Michael Van Valkenburg Associates, provides a play environment beautifully integrated with natural landscape features, providing a destination for imagination and exercise right on the harbor. Pier 6 offers so much to children of all ages and we are proud to create another link in the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway."
"Governors Island opens this year with more bikes, more arts programs, and more free concerts and programs," said Governors Island Preservation and Education Corporation President Leslie Koch. "We hope visitors will come out to the Island, take a car-free bike ride, relax in a hammock and tell us what they think of the new park and public space plan."
"Brooklyn Bridge Park just keeps getting better," said Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy Chairman David Kramer. "With its spectacular new destination playground, knock-out views, and water taxi service to neighboring Governors Island, Pier 6 promises to be the go-to spot for summer fun on the Brooklyn waterfront."
"Governors Island's public access season begins today with the Governors Island Alliance's 6th annual opening day Family Festival," said Governors Island Alliance Chair Kenneth Fisher. "We are thrilled to once again help open the Island for what will no doubt be its biggest summer ever and grateful to the Mayor and Governor for making it even easier for Brooklyn to discover all that the Island has to offer."
Stu Loeser/Andrew Brent (212) 788-2958
Morgan Hook (Governor) (212) 681-4640