Long Island City community garden, photo via Quench Your Eyes on Flickr
With nearly 600 community gardens across New York City, picking just one to join can be difficult. GreenThumb, the largest community garden program in the country, wants to help connect New Yorkers with local gardens by hosting the first-ever Open Garden Day NYC. This Saturday, the organization will celebrate their 40th anniversary by opening more than 70 community gardens to the public, with lots of free, environmentally-friendly activities.
All photos courtesy of NYC Parks
To coincide with the opening of all 53 public pools yesterday, the city’s ever cool and joyful parks commissioner Mitchell Silver launched the Cool Pools NYC pilot program. The initiative gave a colorful makeover to five outdoor pools, one for each borough, in underserved neighborhoods. Prior to Cool Pools NYC, none of these sites had a major renovation since they were built in the 1970s. In addition to the cheery paint jobs, these pools have been outfitted with polar-themed art, lounge chairs, and landscaping and will offer drop-in fitness classes for adults and obstacle courses and scavenger hunts for kids. Read more
Photo via Geoff Stearns on Flickr
A report released Tuesday by the Center for an Urban Future found that while city parks are seeing record use by the public, officials have underinvested in their basic maintenance and infrastructure for decades. The average city park underwent its last major renovation in 1997, despite being on average 73 years old. The think-tank estimates an investment of $5.8 billion over the next decade is needed to address the repair and replacement of existing infrastructure, a number which does not include the cost of constructing new structures.
“The subway system isn’t the only vital piece of infrastructure in New York that is aging and in need of investment,” Jonathan Bowles, executive director of CUF, said in a statement. “Parks in every borough are experiencing infrastructure problems brought by age and magnified by record usage and decades of under-investment in parks maintenance.”
Find out more
With Memorial Day Weekend just around the corner, it’s hard not to imagine the taste of savory barbecue food like hot dogs and hamburgers, chicken wings and corn on the cob. And while our tiny apartments in New York City may not always be the greatest spots to host a barbecue, the city’s parks provide some of the best places to get your grill on this summer. Ahead, 6sqft rounded up 15 of the best parks to host outdoor barbecues, from old standby Prospect Park to less known locales like Clove Lakes Park in Staten Island.
Find out the best BBQ spots in your neighborhood
While recently cleaning out an office, a New York City parks employee discovered two old boxes. Inside the boxes were nearly 3,000 pictures taken in the city’s many parks during the summer of 1978. During a three-month newspaper strike, the department hired eight photographers from the New York Times to document the parks. Until this year, the photos, which had been hidden for 40 years, were never published. Now, as a collaboration between the Times and NYC Parks, a new exhibit called 1978: The NYC Parks/New York Times Photo Project, will feature 60 select photographs from the expansive collection. The exhibit opens Thursday at the Arsenal Gallery in Central Park and runs until June 14. Ahead, preview these stunning images from ’78, which highlight the uniqueness and vibrant flair of NYC during this era.
Explore the collection
Image by Elizabeth Keegin Colley for the Prospect Park Alliance
Spring has officially sprung. And what better way to welcome the season than celebrating with a weekend full of activities at Prospect Park? To kick off the park’s opening weekend on April 7th and 8th, the Prospect Park Alliance will bring events like free yoga, a baseball parade and 1860s exhibition baseball game, a fair, history tour and much more. Although most events are free, a few require advance reservation and some cost a couple of bucks. Ahead, check out the full schedule of events.
More details here
New York City’s parks department will bring art installations to 10 designated parks across the five boroughs this June. As part of “Art in the Parks: UNIQLO Park Expressions Grant Exhibit,” public art will be displayed in parks that currently lack cultural programming. Japanese clothing company UNIQLO, as the initiative’s sponsor, will give grants worth $10,000 to 10 emerging artists for the installations. The city’s Art in the Parks program began in 1967 and is responsible for bringing over 2,000 public pieces of art to the city’s parks.
Details this way
Photo of King via Wikimedia; photo of the MLK cubed sculpture courtesy of Wally Gobetz on Flickr
While some of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s most memorable moments of his career happened down South, like the Montgomery bus boycott and his “I Have a Dream” speech in Washington, support for his goals hailed first from advocacy organizations based in New York City, like the National Urban League. King held sermons at Riverside Church in Morningside Heights, led a march from Central Park to the United Nations in protest of the Vietnam War and received a Medallion of Honor from Mayor Robert Wagner. As a way to honor King and his immense impact on the advancement of civil rights, the city has named streets, parks, playgrounds and more after him. On MLK Day this Monday, 50 years after his untimely death, celebrate by learning about memorials dedicated to him citywide.
Learn more about NYC’s MLK memorials here
, Wed, September 10, 2014
Freshkills Park is the largest landfill reclamation project of its kind in the world, and aside from a weekly public (but escorted) program, it remains a closed site during its massive transformation. Now, the park is ready to give New York inhabitants a better look at what’s underway, letting visitors roam free across more than 300 acres of the 2,200 acre park on September 28th from 11AM-4PM. The event, which celebrates the New Springville Greenway, will be like no other, offering up a flurry of fun outdoor activities and music and, above all, a chance to experience the impressive infrastructural project as it moves forward.
More on the sneak ‘peak’ event here