FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 24, 2010
MAYOR BLOOMBERG ANNOUNCES OPENING OF FIRST SECTIONS OF BROOKLYN BRIDGE PARK'S GREENWAY
Five New Park Acres and Interim Bikeway and Walkway Connects Piers 1 and 6, Providing a Vital Link in the 14-Mile Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today announced that five additional acres of Brooklyn Bridge Park have been opened to the public, including the first 2,000 feet of the park’s greenway, a 30-foot wide, scenic bikeway and walkway along the East River shoreline. The first section of the new greenway starts at the park entrance at Old Fulton Street and ends at the foot of Pier 2, approximately 2,000 feet to the south. Since 2002, more than 500 acres of new parkland have been created for New Yorkers. Brooklyn Bridge Park is a component of the Administration’s Waterfront Vision and Enhancement Strategy to revitalize New York City’s more than 500 miles of waterfront.
“After we opened the first sections of Brooklyn Bridge Park earlier this year, the park quickly became one of New York City’s most popular open spaces, and there’s so much more to come,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “The opening of the next five acres of the park makes it an even more attractive place to visit, and moves us one step closer to our goal of building the full 85-acre park.”
“This opening is an important milestone in connecting communities to the waterfront, recreation and nature by foot, bike and boat said Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez. “The north-south bikeway/walkway not only connects the southern- and northern-most piers of Brooklyn Bridge Park, it is also an important link in the overall planned 14-mile waterfront greenway, which will eventually reach from Sunset Park to Greenpoint.”
“Brooklyn Bridge Park is our very own Eden on the East River, honoring Brooklyn’s past while celebrating its present and anticipating its exciting future. The opening of the remainder of Pier 1, along with the expansion of the bikeway and walkway, ensures that visitors will keep coming to play, exercise, contemplate, take in the majesty of the historic Brooklyn Bridge or enjoy the best view of our magnificent skyline,” said Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz. “Kudos to Regina Myer, the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy, Mayor Bloomberg, Governor Paterson and everyone who fought so hard over the past 25 years to make this green, urban oasis a reality.”
“The opening of the rest of Pier 1, connecting pedestrians and bicyclists to Pier 6, is another important step in achieving a real, world-class park for our community and our city” said State Senator Daniel Squadron. “The new section of Pier 1 is another reason to check out this great public space. I thank community leaders and my colleagues in government for their work in bringing us a little closer to a unified Harbor Park – a central park for the center of the city.”
“Congratulations to Brooklyn Bridge Park on the opening of the remainder of Pier 1,” said Assembly Member Joan Millman. “I am thrilled that the temporary bike path is open, as it forms part of the Brooklyn Greenway’s 14 mile bike path along Brooklyn’s revitalized waterfront. It is wonderful to see this world-class park become a reality.”
“I am thrilled that the newest wing of Brooklyn Bridge Park features an environmentally conscious conception of parks in the 21st century,” said Councilmember Steve Levin. “As a member of the City Council’s Environmental Protection Committee, I am proud to support a park that is sustainable, preserves natural habitats, and educates park goers about local ecosystems.”
In order to provide complete and continuous public access to the portion of the park already open at Pier 6 on Atlantic Avenue, the new section is connected to an interim path on the uplands of Piers 2, 3 and 4. The interim 900-linear-foot section, built by the Department of Transportation, includes a two-way bike lane and a 10-foot wide pedestrian path and connects to a temporary, protected path along Furman Street between Montague and Joralemon Streets.
The newly opened sections of the park also include a recently established tidal salt marsh with an adjacent seating area composed of granite blocks salvaged from the old Willis Avenue Bridge in the Bronx. Planted with smooth cord grass, the tidal marsh will be a home to marine and aquatic bird life and allow park visitors to witness up close the tidal movements of the East River.
The fresh water gardens and a series of weir bridges function as a component of Pier 1’s stormwater management system. Rain water is collected and re-circulated through these gardens, and ultimately used to irrigate the park’s plantings, lawns and trees. The ravine-like setting is the park’s most pastoral landscape and is lushly planted with shrubs like highbush blueberry, spice bush, swamp rose and swamp azalea, and perennials like rose mallow, mist flower, marsh marigolds, milkweed, and a variety of irises, asters, goldenrods, rushes, sedges, and ferns.
Two access points for non-motorized boats are located in the section at the Spiral Pool at the base of Pier 2 and at the boat ramp on the uplands between Piers 1 and 2, the latter of which has already been used for free walk up kayaking programs since July. The new portion of the park also includes new pathways, benches, trees and plantings.
“This opening highlights two wonderful aspects of Brooklyn Bridge Park – its scenic beauty and its multi-faceted functionality,” said Brooklyn Bridge Park President Regina Myer. “The salt marsh and fresh water gardens are extraordinary scenic amenities that also serve important environmental and sustainability functions. With the opening of the first section of our greenway and the interim bikeway/walkway, we achieve the much needed connectivity within the park that embodies Brooklyn Bridge Park’s commitment to the community’s long-held desire for continuous public access to the East River. These projects connect Brooklyn Bridge Park into the greater 14-mile Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway system, expanding the park’s reach to these broader communities.”
“With this opening, the City’s ‘ultimate recycled park’ takes another step forward in its mission of sustainability,” said Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe. “The fresh water gardens are not just beautiful to look at, the also provide a critical function, circulating the collected storm water on Pier 1 and irrigating the lawns, plantings and nearly 500 trees in this section. The addition of the new greenway section will also encourage New Yorkers to take advantage of sustainable transportation while also getting valuable exercise, and provide a crucial link between the two completed sections that are ‘book ends’ to the park.”
“This new connection and a recently completed bike path on Flushing Avenue are a new gateway that will further re-introduce New Yorkers to Brooklyn’s majestic waterfront,” said Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan. “This growing network helps knit together the Greenway for everyone to enjoy safely, whether they’re strolling or cycling.”
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 and walkway. Pier 1 opened to the public in March 2010 and Pier 6 opened in June 2010.
Designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc., the park has won several important awards including the National Park Service’s 2010 Honor Award for Master Plans.
The Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation, known as Brooklyn Bridge Park, is the not-for-profit entity responsible for the planning, construction, maintenance and operation of Brooklyn Bridge Park, an 85-acre sustainable waterfront park stretching 1.3 miles along Brooklyn’s East River shoreline. For additional information, please visit www.brooklynbridgeparknyc.org.
Stu Loeser / Andrew Brent (212) 788-2958
Vicki Karp (Parks) (212) 360-1311