BQGreen Rally 7/26

Public Health Emergency in South Williamsburg Prompts Rally and Press Conference on July 26 Urging Funding for BQGreen

PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:
Virginia Ribot 917-280-7732 ribotvirginia@gmail.com
Carmen Glover 646-726-2266 cglover@lossures.org

Public Health Emergency in South Williamsburg Prompts Rally and Press Conference on July 26 Urging Funding for BQGreen

Brooklyn, New York, July 24, 2017: The Friends of BQGreen, community leaders and elected officials will hold a rally and press conference on Wednesday, July 26, at 4:00 PM at Rodney Park North at the corner of Rodney and S. 4th Streets in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

The traffic on the BQE and on / off ramps of the Williamsburg Bridge have caused a public health emergency. Asthma rates in South Williamsburg are double the citywide average. The neighborhood has the unwelcome distinction of having the 3rd highest number of asthma cases out of 59 districts in New York City.

The air pollution from the BQE and the on / off ramp to the Williamsburg Bridge are particularly hazardous for the the users of the 4 parks adjacent to these highways. An air quality study, co-sponsored by El Puente and the New School’s Tischman Environment and Design Center, conducted an analysis of La Guardia Playground, Jaime Campiz Playground, Rodney Park and Marcy Green. All four parks have elevated levels of PM2.5 levels that make them unsafe for park users and contribute to the health crisis in the neighborhood.

In addition to the health issues, South Williamsburg is “park poor.” It is one of the of neighborhoods with the least amount of parkland per capita the city. The existing parkland in the neighborhood is all hard scrabble. There isn’t a single park with a decent sized patch of grass.

The location of the rally and press conference is part of the solution to the public health emergency — the future site of BQGreen site. BQGreen will create a 3.5 acre park “out of thin air” by building a concrete platform over a portion of the BQE that runs below the street level between S. Third and S. Fifth Streets. BQGreen will include grassy and wooded areas, a flower garden, a playground, a water play zone and a baseball diamond.

Friends of BQGreen urge Mayor de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo to end this environmental and social injustice against the residents of the Southside of Williamsburg by funding the construction of BQGreen.

To help call attention to the urgency of remediating the public health emergency, members of the community will put up crime tape around Rodney Park North for the rally and wear gas masks at the event.

For more information about BQGreen, please visit www.bqgreen.org.

Air-Quality Study Will Show Need For Park Over BQE, Campaigners Hope

DNAinfo

October 18, 2016

WILLIAMSBURG — A group of teens is studying air quality along the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway in an effort to get a new park built on top of the road, according to community organizers.

El Puente, a local non-profit organization with deep roots in Williamsburg’s south side, received a $5,000 grant from the New School’s Tishman Environment and Design Center and will start testing air quality next week with youth in its afterschool program.

Its aim is to collect data showing how BQ Green, a proposed park over the BQE trench from South Third to South Fifth between Rodney and Marcy which would link playgrounds on either side, would be a boon to the area by improving air quality….

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Will part of the BQE be transformed into a cool, new High Line–style park?

Time Out (New York)

May 10, 2016

Among other things, New York is a city of dream projects that never get built. But sometimes they get a second chance, and that appears to be the case with BQ Green, a proposal to turn parts of the BQE between South Third and South Fifth Streets in Williamsburg into a park featuring bike lanes, a pool and a baseball diamond. The brainchild of Councilman Antonio Reynoso, the idea was initially floated in 2010 and priced at $100 million, but was met by then Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s decided disinterest. Now, Reynoso wants to try again.
The idea is to build the park on a platform across the BQE ditch that had been rammed through parts of Brooklyn under the aegis of New York’s legendary, if arrogant, building czar, Robert Moses. Besides providing much needed green space, the park would also knit back together a neighborhood torn apart when the expressway originally went through. How feasible is BQ Green? Its designers, dlandstudio, have already built something like it for Dallas, Texas….

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Chasing the Dream of a Platform Park Over the BQE in Williamsburg

Gothamist

May 9, 2016

A Williamsburg councilman is looking to revive a grand plan to build a park over a stretch of the sunken Brooklyn-Queens Expressway that runs through the neighborhood. Councilman Antonio Reynoso wants to bring back the project, dubbed BQ Green, as a part of Council parks committee chairman Mark Levine’s push for the city to commit $200 million dollars to an expanded park capital budget.

“History has shown us that we can do very little when we’re providing new parkland, and the parkland we do provide is never enough,” Reynoso said. “We currently have the resources to do that. We have the economy to do that. So why not use long-term items to build something beneficial to the community?”

BQ Green would create parkland over more than two blocks of the BQE ditch. Robert Moses rammed the expressway ditch through the neighborhood in the 1950s, and Reynoso said the road is to blame for the area’s elevated asthma rates, and serves as a convenient boundary for modern-day gangs.

The BQE has “divided our community for a long time,” he said. “Robert Moses had great vision but it’s like he didn’t know how to plan, though.”…

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Plan For Two-Block Park Over the BQE In Williamsburg Pitched, Again

Curbed NY

May 6, 2016

The proposed elevated park, BQ Green, needs elevated hope to become a reality

City councilman Antonio Reynoso is looking to bring green above Williamsburg—literally—in an ambitious way. Realizing the underutilization of a ditch along the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, Reynoso is hoping to convert what is currently a community divider into an elevated park named BQ Green. (h/t Gothamist)

The proposed park would be situated above the BQE between South Third and Fifth Streets with the objective of converting the concrete platform into parkland that would stretch over two blocks. If approved, BQ Green would feature flower gardens, barbecue areas, a baseball diamond, and even a pool. Reynoso also argues that it would add to the neighborhood in a more health-oriented way: the added greenery could counter pollution from the expressway, and potentially help the neighborhood’s asthma rates.

Along with his predecessor and current Brooklyn deputy borough president, Diana Reyna, Reynoso concocted the project plan for BQ Green back in 2010, but Mayor Bloomberg wasn’t interested, instead focusing on more affluent neighborhoods around the city. But now, with money to spare and an estimated price tag of $100 million, Reynoso is pushing to get the project approved this time around….

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Surprise, New York Turned Into One of the World’s Greenest Cities

New York Observer

April 26, 2016


Now that abandoned industrial infrastructure has become the design frontier for park proponents, efforts are underway to transform an abandoned rail line in Queens into a linear park called QueensWay and build a deck over the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway to be known as BQGreen Park. The Natural Areas Conservancy, a recently formed group operating in collaboration with the parks department, surveys the social benefits and environmental health of the city’s natural areas and engages communities in trail building and forest-restoration projects. Its work is furthered by the Greenbelt Native Plant Center on Staten Island, which was established by the parks department to germinate seeds and propagate plants for habitat-restoration sites. Additional good news includes the Trust for Public Land’s data-driven advocacy of a 10-minute (or less) walk for every resident of an urban area to a nearby park, playground, or greenway. And let’s not forget that there are 600 community gardens blooming today on former vacant lots throughout the city….

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Greenpoint Park’s Renovation Fully Funded With $850K From Borough President

DNAinfo

August 3, 2015

GREENPOINT — A renovation for a Greenpoint playground is finally fully funded after some three years of fundraising.

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams’ park funding announcement last week included $850,000 for McGolrick Park, a Greenpoint park south of Nassau Avenue and Russell Street.

The money, which was allocated as part of the 2016 fiscal year budget, brought the McGolrick Park Neighborhood Alliance to its fundraising goal of $2 million to renovate the playground.

“We’re just really elated at the fact that the borough president and the city council completed funding to get it all done,” said Martha Holstein, a member part of the alliance.

Neighbors initially spearheaded the idea of renovating the park during Councilman Steve Levin’s participatory budgeting in 2013, pitching it as one of several ideas to fund…

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Addressing Infrastructure Problems With Landscape Architecture

Epoch Times

April 18, 2014

Pilot projects in landscape architecture can solve issues of comfort, beauty, and livability

To address problems like the region’s ecology, dlandstudio added green space and designed it in a way to connect neighborhoods. With the help of local officials, city agencies are trying to secure funding for development of the space.

The effect of these small, pilot projects cities are implementing is potentially endless. The right ones, when implemented a million times, Drake said, “can start to transform our country.” The research Drake has done with grants sometimes snowballs into another grant study, then a bigger project. A feasibility study to cap a trench can turn into a green amenity for residents….

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