Formerly a toxic brownfield, Brooklyn Bridge Park (BBP) was transformed with award-winning waterfront redevelopment designs by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates.
Focused on sustainability, this series of ecological parks runs 1.3 miles along the East River in Brooklyn and has become a significant 85-acre, biodiverse, urban landscape and community resource. The park forges new connections between the adjacent Brooklyn neighborhoods and the East River, overcoming the longstanding separation that resulted from the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, steep grade separation, and former industrial land use.
The park provides a broad range of passive and active outdoor recreation opportunities and space for community and civic events. Brooklyn Bridge Park incorporates elements of its industrial past through the strategic and extensive reuse of existing structures and salvaged materials.
Pier 3 outboard is the newest pier to open at BBP. It includes a massive pastural lawn surrounded by meadows, an exploratory play area among an aspen grove, and a Mediterranean coastal garden in raised beds of board-formed concrete.
Pier 5 opened two years ago and includes one of three park sound-attenuating berms, that envelops a terraced lawn leading to a seating area, all with marvelous views.
Pier 6 – will be the end the tour to look at our Flower Field and Dunes gardens. Filled with flowers and wildlife in harsh conditions.
The park introduces a wide range of aquatic and terrestrial plant communities and habitats to the formerly desolate site and incorporates stormwater management techniques that capture runoff for irrigation. Ongoing park maintenance and upkeep is self-financed and funded through revenue generated from vendors, donations, and development parcels located within the park.
After quenching your thirst for knowledge, join us at Fornino’s for a beverage to wrap up the tour.
Rebecca McMackin is the Director of Horticulture for Brooklyn Bridge Park, where she and her team manage 85 acres of ornamental beds, forest ecosystems, meadows, greenroofs, turf, and wetlands organically with an emphasis on encouraging wildlife. Rebecca holds a MSc in Landscape Design and an MSc in Biology. She teaches at the New York Botanical Garden, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and at the annual Young Farmers Conference. Rebecca has written for many publications and contributed to many podcasts. In her “spare time,” Rebecca is a Trustee on the Boards for the Ecological Landscape Alliance, the Torrey Botanical Society, and Metro Hort. She is an ISA-certified arborist and a NOFA-Accredited Organic Landcare Professional.