Friday, January 18, 2008

The Optimist Reports on "Protest for Parks"

Wow. There's so much to report, it's hard to know where to start.

Last night, over 80 concerned community members crowded into the ballroom of The Polish National Home (a.k.a. Warsaw) on Driggs Ave. for an epic, 2-hour presentation from The Greenpoint Waterfront Association for Parks & Planning (GWAPP) on the status of all of the current and planned green spaces in the neighborhood.

The good news is there's a ton of them. The not-so-good news is that in nearly every case, Greenpointers are going to have to fight for them.

However, as my fellow attendee blog goddess Miss Heather expressed this morning, there is a lot of cause for enthusiasm, and I left the meeting feeling even more optimistic than usual. GWAPP and their fellow acronyms NAG (Neighbors Against Garbage), BGI (Brooklyn Greenway Initiative), and OSA (Open Space Alliance) have a whole host of exciting plans to spread trees and parks across the community on a scope far more ambitious than I anticipated.

Since The Optimist took ten sprawling pages of notes on the thunderous succession of presentations last night, I think it's best if I don't barrage you with all of the information in one single tome, but I will fill you in on some of the highlights.

The Optimist was most exhilarated by BGI's efforts to create a sweeping, multi-use green recreation space that would extend continuously along the waterfront from Greenpoint all the way to the Verrazano Bridge in Bay Ridge - much like the park that now extends the length of the West Side in Manhattan.

No less impressive are plans for Bushwick Creek Inlet Park, which would stretch from Kent Avenue to the East River and from N. 9th St. to a little past Quay St. where The Greenpoint Monitor Museum now stands.

But not all of the town hall concentrated on parks envisioned for the future. There were in-depth presentations on the $50 million dollar, PlaNYC-financed renovations slated for McCarren Park as well as on the little-known Newtown Creek Nature Walk along the waterfront just north of the Pulaski bridge.

The Optimist will follow up in detail about these park plans and many others over the coming days, including what you can do specifically to help them materialize, but in the interim he urges his readers to contact GWAPP immediately to get involved in their extraordinary efforts on behalf of Brooklyn.

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