North Brooklyn just got a little bit greener.
Transformed into a multi-purpose community garden, the rooftop at 520 Kingsland Avenue in Greenpoint celebrated its grand opening over the weekend on Saturday, September 24.
From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Brooklynites and visitors of all ages were able to enjoy spectacular views while also engaging in rooftop tours, chats with wildlife and plant experts, and having fun with music, food, drinks and other activities throughout the day.
“The festival – the first of three annual festivals – [included] tabling with local environmental organizations, free food and drinks (courtesy of NYC Organic Smart Beer and Greenpoint’s own Greenhook Ginsmiths) live music, kids activities, and tours of the new roof with us and other New York City plant and wildlife experts,” said Kingsland Wildflower Roof Project Coordinator Niki Jackson, who mentioned that the main purpose of the garden was to spread the word about “green infrastructure and native plants.”
Owner and founder of Brooklyn-based Alive Structures green roofing company – the group behind the project – Marni Majorelle, along with her team of environmentalists, New York City Audubon and the Newtown Creek Alliance, not only looks to transform spaces as part of her mission but also to improve air and water quality, reduce energy dependence and create open green space.
“The Kingsland Wildflower roof will provide a green corridor of native grass and flower habitat for New York City’s bird and insect populations,” Majorelle says.
“The project will develop 20,000-plus square feet of green roof planted with native grasses and wildflowers,” added Jackson. “The roof will serve as both a bird/insect/bat habitat as well as a community engagement space for local environmental sustainability projects in North Brooklyn.”
New York City Audubon, a grassroots community organization and an instrumental partner on the project, according to Jackson, played a large part in helping with the site design, educational programming and the wildlife monitoring that will be happening at the site.
“If anywhere needs a wildflower roof, it’s this area,” Jackson said. “The project is planted on top of an industrial movie studio in Greenpoint, located across from [a] sci-fi looking sewage treatment plant, next to a recycling facility, a petroleum storage lot, and Newtown Creek – one of the most polluted bodies of water in this city.”
The project, funded by the Office of the New York State Attorney General and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation through the Greenpoint Community Environmental Fund, will be fully complete after its second phase of construction, set for the spring of 2017.