On Monday, members of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, elected officials, and community organizers gathered to cut the ribbon on the newly expanded Newtown Creek along the North Brooklyn waterfront.
The quarter-mile, self-guided nature walk is located in Greenpoint, directly behind the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant. Originally opened in 2007, the nature walk revived a long-inaccessible industrial shoreline by adding trails, trees, shrubs, and artwork.
This week’s additions to the nature walk were designed by landscape architect and artist George Trakas, who began work on the project in 2019. The new sections of the nature walk add additional greenspace, ramps, and a number of sculptures created by Trakas.
“As we continue the important work of restoring the health of Newtown Creek, expanding the Nature Walk and providing uninterrupted public access to the waterfront helps us engage all New Yorkers in this critical effort,” Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Vincent Sapienza told our paper.
New York City Department of Design and Construction Commissioner Jamie Torres-Springer agreed, saying “the completion of Newtown Creek Nature Walk takes on more significance as the City opens up again after the pandemic and our fellow New Yorkers emerge and make more use of their open spaces. What’s more, the design of this project is truly innovative, taking advantage of its unique surroundings, and will be an enduring resource for the City and its residents.”
Multiple local elected officials also released their own statements praising the park and the creation of more greenspace in North Brooklyn.
“Expanding the nature walk and providing residents with public access to the waterfront area is a critical step forward in our effort to make the area healthier and safer for all New Yorkers,” said U.S. Representative Carolyn Maloney.
“Today marks another milestone in the transformation of our relationship to the long-abused but always resilient Newtown Creek,” added State Assembly Member Emily Gallagher.
Greenpoint City Council Member Steve Levin also commented on the project, which is reaching its completion not long before the Councilman is term-limited out of office this fall.
“I am beyond pleased to see the expanded Newtown Creek Nature Walk in Greenpoint,” Levin writes. “Now more than ever, we must invest in green and open spaces — and the pandemic has emphasized the importance of nature, health and fitness, and disconnecting. Now, as the work continues to restore the health of the Creek, we must also ensure we are protecting the health of New Yorkers — this is something which will positively impact the physical and mental health of my constituents.”
The Newtown Creek Nature Walk is open from dawn till dusk everyday, weather permitting.