Our Park plumbers have been hard at work prepping the park for the hot summer season. FGP water fountains are all up and running!
Where possible, we are rerouting the running trail away from steep slopes to reduce erosion and hazardous, rocky conditions. Please run across the lawn next to the Willoughby entry steps.
For more information, please e-mail email@example.com.
Spring is here, and the park will soon be bursting with flora in vibrant hues. With all that beauty and new springtime growth, the park and its 35+ garden beds will need some extra TLC. That’s where our volunteers come in!
Volunteerism is at the heart of the Conservancy’s mission. Half of the 180 events that FGPC produces annually are in-park volunteer outings. Our weekly Friday Corps and bi-weekly Saturday Spruce-Up volunteers perform essential park maintenance work, while our twice-weekly Volunteer Gardeners tend our garden beds and delicate slopes.
Because our volunteers contributed more than 3,000 hours of labor in Fort Greene Park last year, FGPC would like to show a little love to these selfless workers! Their contributions help make the park more beautiful and keep it on a sustainable path for park users to enjoy for years to come.
One of our most dedicated groups of regular Friday Corps and Saturday Spruce Up volunteers in 2018 was the Brooklyn Technical High School Key Club.
“Volunteering in Fort Greene is an event I sign up for regularly. I consider myself an environmental advocate as I do anything that will potentially lead to the sustainability of our environment. In Friday Volunteer Corps, volunteers spend around an hour just helping out in Fort Greene Park; sometimes, we pull out weeds and other times, we rake. It's one of the many events that members can definitely fit in their schedule as it is located right in front of Brooklyn Tech and it happens every Friday. I recommend everyone to sign up for it!”
—Chijiun Su, Brooklyn Tech Key Club
“As for my experience helping clean up Fort Green Park, I enjoyed it a lot. I was raking up leaves and putting them in trash bags with my teammates. It was satisfying in a weird way because there were so many dead leaves in the ground that we filled up several trash bags. You could see the contrast of color between green and gray from the areas that were raked and the areas that weren't. I got to meet a lot of new people and it felt good to cooperate together.”
—Nikki Cheng, Brooklyn Tech Key Club
Volunteer Gardener Gold Medalists: Neil Glaser and “E” Itaya
Participants in our Volunteer Gardeners program dedicate Thursday and Saturday mornings from 9am-10:30am to helping maintain FGP’s 35+ garden beds. Neil Glaser, a committed Thursday AM volunteer, came in first place for number of hours logged in the program in 2018. Kat Itaya, a Saturday morning regular who likes to go by “E” — her Volunteer Gardener nickname, ranked in the top volunteers among the Saturday crew. Wicket, her loyal Norfolk Terrier, is the Volunteer Gardeners’ mascot!
“I’ve been a Volunteer Gardener since the program started, I think this would be my 4th year? I am a hands-on guy, and while I have done other work in regards to the park, I always feel that I can serve best by getting my hands into the project. I have loved learning about new plants, garden placement, native gardens, pollinator gardens, garden design.”
“This is my fourth season as a volunteer gardener. I love working outside, and like most New Yorkers, I don’t have a yard of my own. Fort Greene Park has gardens to spare, and there’s always something going down. Max, the head gardener, has taught me so much about plant and weed identification. She also taught by example a philosophy about gardening that I took to heart: ‘Don’t overthink it. Plants die and plants grow, and the work is never done. We’re just part of the process.’”
—”E” Itaya with Wicket
Studies show that spending as little as 20 minutes in green spaces can improve physical and mental well-being. So, becoming a Volunteer Gardener is not only good for Fort Greene Park; it is great for your health, too! If you love getting your hands dirty and being out in the sun and the early-morning air, Volunteer Gardeners may be for you!
If interested, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mr. Neckles is a City Parks Worker (CPW) who has been with NYC Parks since 2015. He joined the staff of Fort Greene Park in October of 2018.
What kinds of work projects keep you busy and what is your favorite part of the job?
I love to cut grass. That is what I did before I came here when I was with the (Brooklyn) Borough Crews. I also love doing projects with my co-workers. I like the team spirit here. It is a festive day when we are all out working together!
What is the most unusual or memorable experience you have had while working in Fort Greene Park?
Having dogs chase me when I am in my cart! That may seem normal to most people, but I never had that happen to me until I came here. One dog in particular tries to get in the cart with me. I joke with his owner, a lady who comes here every day, that she has the same kind of dog as the Queen (of England). (I proffer, “A Corgi?) Yes! A Corgi. I have to remember that!
What do you do for fun when you are not in the park?
I love to crochet. I am Rastafarian, so we make hats to cover our locks. I made my own Parks Department hat. I got the official insignia and put it on! I would be curious to know if I am the only person to make my own Parks Department hat. I also love to cook and to bake. I am very involved with my church, Nyabinghi Order, in Flatbush. We have a real sense of community. We are all from the Caribbean: Grenada, where I am from; Jamaica; the Bahamas. But all are welcome!
I have heard the Sorrel you make is out of this world. Is that a secret family recipe?
No, Sorrel is an Island drink. We make it for Christmas and festive events. Every island has a different recipe. The secret to mine is a little bit of organic orange peel. That gives it a bitter-sweet flavor. And bay leaf!
Foresters from NYC Parks recently removed a European Beech tree along Washington Park near the DeKalb playground. The tree, part of the Conservancy's Tree Trail Walk, had significant decay at the base and in the root system which foresters determined by resistance drilling.
Due to the position of the decay, it was not possible to mitigate the risk to public safety without removing the entire tree. The top of the tree also had some structural defects, and Beech trees are unfortunately very poor at recovering from the kind of intense pruning that would have been required to address the defects. Rest assured, a young, healthy tree will soon take its place.
In the zone with Esmeraldo Maldonado
FGPC was proud to be a part of The Brooklyn Hospital Center's recent kick off of their yearlong 175th Anniversary celebration. Associate Director Julian Macrone accepted one of three medals (and a proclamation from the Borough President) on behalf of the Park. We couldn't be more honored to share
175 years of history with such incredible neighbors.
The Conservancy is helping fund a refurbishment of the interior of the Visitor Center over the next couple months. Work includes new paint, more contemporary displays, and a focus on kid-friendly crafts and activities. Space will be set aside for a rotating exhibition of works by local artists as well. Just a reminder: the Visitor Center and the public restrooms will remain open for most of the work, however there may be temporary closures while the painting is in progress. For more information on the project or the community exhibition space, please e-mail email@example.com.
Your monetary donations directly fund this project. We are also looking for new or gently used toys and the following items:
- Kids blocks
- Art supplies
- Tablet computers or flat screen TV monitors
All of us at FGPC recognize the value that Fort Greene Park provides our neighborhood. As a meeting place, a space to relax, and important natural resource, we benefit from the park in ways as incredible and diverse as the community around it. We know that high-quality, free public programming plays a key role in strengthening that community, and bringing people together. Our programs are the foundation of FGPC’s work, and provide invaluable opportunities for people from all walks of life to connect with the park’s landscape, Fort Greene’s history, local culture, and one another.
In 2018, FGPC set a personal best for number of events produced—combined, almost 180 free programs and volunteer events, serving over 25,000 individuals. Reflecting on 2018’s successes, and the ways FGPC has grown in the last twelve months, we want to highlight some of the brightest moments, and the partnerships that made them possible.
Dear Fort Greene Park Community:
Looking back, 2018, my fourth year as Fort Greene Park Director, was an incredible year of growth and expansion. Much of what we accomplished would not have been possible without the neighbors who care for and support the park. A series of small miracles have to be performed on a daily basis to keep the park in great shape. Equipment breaks, staff get relocated, and supplies run out at crucial moments. In 2018, a 40% increase in funding for park supplies and equipment from the Fort Greene Park Conservancy helped improve the visitor experience in many ways. This year will go down as one that finally established a baseline for consistent and quality park care. An appreciation of that baseline is essential. Now that the bar has been raised, we need your support to keep it there.
We were fortunate that new funding through the Parks Department’s Zone Management Program in Spring 2018 brought more resources for personnel and equipment than ever before. This initiative allowed us to build a dedicated team of more full-time workers and adopt best practices for urban park maintenance pioneered by the leaders in the field at Central Park. We are lucky to now have a team dedicated to Fort Greene Park for maintenance and enforcement. Most NYC parks are serviced by mobile crews that briefly visit a dozen or more properties in a single day. Actually assigning a worker to Fort Greene Park builds familiarity with local conditions and relationships with our park community. I hope you have the opportunity to personally meet the new staff members who serve your park. The Conservancy’s e-newsletter frequently runs an “In the Zone” profile highlighting park staff. You can always call 311 to report issues, but it’s easier to just flag down a worker in a utility cart when looking for an update on park news or to report a leaking drinking fountain. As our park gets busier and busier from our growing neighborhood, the addition of a full-time enforcement detail helps keep the peace between user groups.
Beyond the nimble and friendly nature of a team dedicated to our park, we are now able to control more aspects of park maintenance and elevate the level of service than was previously possible. We now take for granted that garbage cans will be emptied daily and the grass will be mowed regularly. But up until a few years ago, we had no ability to cut our own grass and instead waited for a crew to come every few weeks. This year, we improved the lawns with weekly mowing and bi-annual aeration and re-seeding. Extra staff have allowed us to open and close lawns each day to ensure they rest after wet weather and bounce back from constant foot and paw traffic.
Additional equipment enabled us to control snow plowing and ensure most pathways were passable within a couple of hours after the snow settled. Areas like the Monument Plaza had never been plowed before because a pick-up truck with a plow couldn’t squeeze through the entries. A lumbering garbage truck traversing our pathways, damaging the asphalt, lawns, and compromising public safety was once the norm. Now, our new electric utility carts quietly zip about at night to take out garbage and recyclables to one of two perimeter holding pens for collection. This first-ever night shift ensured morning park users saw less litter and fewer overflowing receptacles. The night shift also kept bathrooms open two hours later than previous summers.
Our 2018 operations makeover coincided with the Community Heroes NYC photography installation along the Brooklyn Hospital fenceline that celebrates everyday residents who organize and generously give time and talent for the good of the park and neighborhood. Many of the Heroes stepped up without official titles at a time when resources from the City proved scarce. On one banner, you’ll meet the recently deceased Jamie Ramirez, who lived in Bushwick and walked three miles seven days a week, for nearly 20 years, to clean the St. Edwards Street playground in a mostly volunteer capacity. Another Hero profiled, Kath Hansen, organized dog owners in the late 1990s to win off-leash privileges for the park. This park was once a place to be avoided at night—off-leash hours and the resolute nighttime presence of neighbors and their pets help ensure there are always eyes on the park. Another banner celebrates Ruth Goldstein, the founder of the Fort Greene Park Conservancy, which celebrated its 20th year in 2018. What started as a few neighbors planting daffodil bulbs is now a robust non-profit organization that produces over 180 free programs and invests thousands of dollars in the park’s maintenance annually.
Community Heroes celebrates the neighbors that have taken it upon themselves to help sustain the Park, and serves as a reminder that the Parks Department can’t do it alone. If the last few decades are any indication, parks funding is often the first to get cut during an economic downturn. This year I was thrilled that our community continued to fill dog waste bag dispensers with bags from home even though the City now purchases official bags. The Fort Greene Park Conservancy funded projects to restore and upgrade areas of poor drainage, outfitted a new office trailer to provide a welcoming home for the additional staff, supported the beautification of entry gardens with plant materials and volunteers, and funded dozens of last minute purchases to keep our new equipment in good repair. This support kept the park in working order. Fort Greene Park has relied on both public investment and the contributions of our community to create today’s impressive new standard—that same partnership will help sustain it through the exciting era ahead.
Many heroes and many miracles in 2018 kept the park clean, green, and safe and complemented the additional resources from the City. Several times I paused to take a breather from the hustle of park operations to appreciate a freshly cut lawn, new recycling receptacles, or the warbler songbirds chasing insects across new native plantings. I hope you noticed the changes as well. Please send us your comments and suggestions and if you’d like to be put in touch with any of the organizations mentioned above to see how you can help more directly, please let us know. We can’t take for granted all we have accomplished in partnership.
See you in the park in 2019.
Fort Greene Park Director
In 2018 we remain ever-grateful for David’s steadfast leadership and passion for our neighborhood park and the people it serves. We’re honored to be able to support him and his team year-round in keeping the park clean, green, and joyful for all. To help ensure that the new standard of excellence in Fort Greene Park is maintained, become a member of the Fort Greene Park Conservancy today.
-The Fort Greene Park Conservancy
Trees in Fort Greene Park are a defining feature of the landscape. The Osage orange tree at the entry with its arching branches and softball-sized green fruit is one of the most beloved. However, after years of being climbed upon, this tree and its eroded understory need a break. NYC Parks crews have aerated the soil and added compost to allow the roots to better access nutrients, air, and water. New plantings will hold the soil and provide a welcoming entry. As part of the project, the running trail has been rerouted to a flat area in line with South Oxford Street to avoid tree roots and reduce the compaction of our fragile slopes.
Together, these steps aim to strike a balance between contemporary demand for active recreation and the preservation of the natural beauty of our historic landscape. Please respect the fences.
For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Director of Fort Greene Park
In the Zone with: Kleron Yarde
As part of the City-funded Zone Management program, additional maintenance and enforcement staff dedicated to the park keep our landscape cleaner, safer, and greener throughout the year. One of six Parks Enforcement workers assigned to Fort Greene Park, Officer Kleron Yarde joined the Parks Department in 2017 because of the opportunity to work outdoors.
What enforcement issues keep you busy?
In general, it’s all about keeping that peaceful coexistence between different park user groups. The good encounters outweigh the bad. From what I hear from park goers, some of the previous issues with dogs off leash have calmed a bit since the enforcement team arrived at the start of the summer.
What’s your favorite part of your job?
I like the people I come across. There are very colorful personalities that you get to know during small 1-2-minute chats. I enjoy learning how people relate to their park. For some it’s about meditation and a deep spiritual connection. For other it’s about exercise and recreation. Parks are a place to unwind and reset. I especially enjoy seeing new families - parents with young children enjoying the park.
What do you like most about working at Fort Greene Park?
People are very pleasant here and a have a lot character. I like the staff as well. It’s refreshing to be among the trees and walk the landscape and feel like you’re in nature in the middle of Fort Greene. The history and connections between people and generations here are also special. Other things I like about Fort Greene are the volunteerism, farmers markets, and events like Soul Summit and movie night.
When not at the park, what do you do for fun?
I like going back to my Alma mater Brooklyn College and spending time with students and professors. Videography and cinematography are passions. I’m working on a documentary for fun. Cooking is another hobby of mine. I like making a variety of vegetarian dishes including eggplant Parmesan.
Dave Barker, Park Director
This past Saturday, I joined a group of avid birders on a Bird Walk led by August Davidson-Onsgard. This group meets almost every Saturday morning during spring and fall migration to engage in patch birding, which is birding on a small site on a frequent basis — a good way to create a more manageable and intimate birding experience. In an urban area, birding in a relatively small park like Fort Greene Park can prove especially advantageous, since so many birds congregate on this patch of green space.
As off-leash dog hours come to an end and the park empties out, the songs of birds become increasingly clear. Despite having spent nearly every day of the summer in Fort Greene Park putting on events, from kids’ concerts to movies, I felt like I was seeing the Park with new eyes.
We set out towards the Willoughby area of the park, where Park Director Dave Barker and Gardener Maxine Webb have worked to introduce more native plants in garden beds. Consequently, the diverse native plant palettes have also attracted a variety of new bird species. August recently spotted a Yellow Breasted Chat in these gardens, and while that bird was quite shy, we figured it was worth a shot to see if it would come out again.
“Pishing” is a rough whisper or repetitive sound that some birders make to encourage shy birds to emerge from behind or underneath leaves and shrubbery. While this tactic didn’t work for us Saturday, August said it has worked for him in the past. Unlike playing a bird call, pishing doesn’t trick birds into thinking a possible mate or friend is nearby, and is considered a more ethical technique.
We continued our walk, and August pointed out circular indentations on several trees. He explained that this indicates Sapsuckers, a type of Woodpecker, have been there. After pecking these marks into the trees, the Sapsuckers will wait for the sap to start oozing from the tree and return repeatedly to consume it (as well as insects on and around the tree). At this point in our walk, we heard a Mockingbird’s unmistakable call, and caught a glimpse before it flew away.
As we walked around, my usual propensity to move quickly and get on to the next task completely subsided. Birding is exciting and fast-paced, yet slows me down as my focus is consumed as I try to listen for birds, keep my eyes and ears open to rustling leaves, and attempt to make sense of all the different mannerisms, colors, and habits of birds being explained to me. For birders, identifying a bird isn’t just about what it looks like, or the call it makes. Based simply upon what kind of tree a bird is in, where on that tree the bird is sitting, and what sorts of movement the bird makes, even a new birder will have an idea of what species they are looking at.
That’s how we spotted several Brown Creepers on the trees at the top of the Myrtle lawn. One of few birds with “bad posture” as a fellow birder explained, the Brown Creeper has a flat back. They enjoy hopping up the trunks of trees, and then will glide back down to the base of the trunk. Near the brown creepers we caught a glimpse of several Black and White Warblers, a beautifully striking little bird that let us get pretty close before flying away.
At this point in the walk, I had become more confident in my birding skills, and caught sight of a bird with a round red belly and blue-grey wings. As I pointed this out to the woman next to me, she explained that the beautiful bird was nothing especially rare, just a robin. So much for my first exciting spot!
Soon after August noted that good weather days are often more difficult for spotting birds, we caught a glimpse of one of our rarest finds of the day. This bird had a long tail and flew high up in the tall trees near the monument steps. August and the other birders identified this bird as a Brown Thrasher. The thrasher flew between tall trees, and I borrowed someone’s “binocs” (birders’ shorthand for binoculars) to catch a glimpse of this difficult-to-spot bird. August pulled out his camera for the occasion, and we all spent 15 minutes in that one spot, just looking up into the trees seeking the brown thrasher as it hopped from branch to branch.
Once the Brown Thrasher flew away, we continued walking through the park and saw several Pine Warblers. These striking yellow birds flitted and pranced on low branches and along a wire fence. Near the same group of trees we spotted more Black and White Warblers and Brown Creepers.
The walk ended as we completed our circle around the park. August was ready to take another lap as soon as we finished, but I needed a moment to soak in everything I had seen. Urban birding is special because it is immersive in a way most things in a city are not. So often in New York City, all the sights and sounds blur together as we hurry to the next place we need to be. Stepping into a park relieves that tension, and allows us to absorb more fully what is hiding right in front of us, or perched above our heads.
By: Thais Reis-Henrie
August Davidson-Ongard is a birder, photographer, and excellent teacher and guide. Join him and fellow birders on walks October 6th, 13th, 27th, and November 3rd. All walks start at the visitor’s center at 9am.
You will also be able to check out August’s beautiful photographs of birds in Fort Greene Park in the Visitor’s Center, and at an exhibition at Gnarly Vines on Myrtle Avenue starting November 8th.
Our summer programming was a great success … and the park shows it. Fall is a great time to come out and volunteer, meet your neighbors, enjoy the crisp autumn air, and help us get the park in tip top condition to weather Winter storms and prepare for Spring! If you are knowledgeable about gardening, we need you. If you want to learn about horticulture, we need you. If you can wield a rake, we need you.
Join us this Fall for a variety of volunteer programs, and join the community that keeps our park beautiful year-round! Friday Volunteer Corps and Saturday Spruce Ups are an opportunity for families, individuals, and school groups to work with us for a couple hours on a variety of projects from leaf raking, to mulching, to weeding, to collecting glass on running trails.
If you’re a festive type, consider joining us for our Halloween festival. We need lots of volunteers to help us manage this huge neighborhood bonanza!
Friday Volunteer Corps
Fridays 4pm to 5:30pm, 9/28/2018 through 11/30/2018
Help steward Fort Greene Park into a beautiful and sustainable future.
Friday Volunteer Corps gives local residents the opportunity to learn more about park stewardship. By becoming a steward of Fort Greene Park, you can help ensure that our 30 acres is kept beautiful for years to come.
Volunteers assist with general park maintenance. These maintenance projects might include park beautification, mulching, weeding, raking leaves, pathway edging, glass clean up and more. Learn new skills, connect with your neighbors, and gain valuable community service experience. Volunteers will work alongside conservancy staff during a 1.5-hour shift Fridays from 4pm to 5:30pm. All tools and supplies will be provided.
Volunteer Gardeners Program
Thursdays and Saturdays 9am to 10:30am, ongoing
Put your horticultural expertise to work -- or learn a new skill.
Be a part of our Volunteer Gardeners Program and work alongside a parks horticulturalist to help maintain the park's 35 garden beds. Volunteer gardeners meet on Thursday and Saturday mornings from 9:00-10:30 am. We ask Volunteer Gardeners to make a weekly commitment of 90 minutes per week and choose which day works best for them. To join, email email@example.com
Spruce Up Fort Greene Park
Saturdays 11am-1pm, 10/6/2018, 10/20/2018, 12/1/18
All hands on deck! (Or lawn as the case may be.)
Spend time outdoors with other volunteers at our Spruce Up events which are held bi-weekly on Saturdays from March until December (weather permitting). Stop by the park for two hours and help us keep the park clean and green by gardening, raking, cleaning, and planting. Scroll for later events.
Register to Spruce Up Fort Greene Park here. Scroll for later events.
Leaf No Trace
Saturday November 17,2018 10am-1pm
Fall Is here and the trees are shedding their summer attire. That means LOTS of raking opportunities!
Making leaf angels is not necessarily encouraged, but if the spirit moves you, go for it! Volunteers assist with raking and bagging leaves all over our park while enjoying the autumn weather … and maybe a leaf angel or two.
Volunteer Leader, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don’t want to get your hands too dirty? Adopt a plant instead!
Adopting a plant helps Fort Greene Park stay beautiful and maintains our slopes. Sponsor an Oakleaf Hydrangea, Hellebore, or Lily Turf. Once the plants have been added to the landscape, we’ll send you a photo! Click here to adopt a plant.
Get to know the staff member who cares for your corner of Fort Greene Park! As part of the City-funded Zone Management program, additional maintenance and enforcement staff dedicated to the park keep our landscape cleaner and greener throughout the year.
Rosa started at Fort Greene Park in March 2018 after 15 years spent maintaining large parks in Southern Brooklyn such as Marine and Canarsie Parks. She covers Zone 2 which encompasses the southern, Dekalb Avenue landscape of the park. Rosa lives in Williamsburg.
What’s your favorite part of your job?
I like doing different things throughout the day to stay busy. I love looking back when I finish a project and admiring how nice it looks. Anything that I do, I like to do it well.
What do you like most about working at Fort Greene Park?
This is by far the cleanest park where I’ve worked. Since I don’t have to spend as much time on garbage, I can do a variety of things like cleaning drains, sweeping puddles, and blowing debris off of pathways. The patrons here say thank you. They know me. Even the babies. They get excited when I see them.
When not at the park, what do you do for fun?
I love cooking for my family. I have two kids who I invite over for dinner. Rice and beans and pork chops are my favorite things to cook. I also enjoy spending time with my two dogs and playing dominoes with my husband.
Dave Barker, Park Director
As part of the City-funded Zone Management program, additional maintenance and enforcement staff dedicated to the park keep our landscape cleaner, safer, and greener throughout the year. One of six Parks Enforcement workers assigned to Fort Greene Park, City Seasonal Aide Tiffany Chirse has been with Parks for three years and was most recently stationed at Sunset Park Recreation Center.
What enforcement issues keep you busy?
It’s mainly the dogs off the leash, especially in the middle of the day. For the most part, people are pretty compliant and receptive to the rules. I get people telling me “thank you” when I tell them to put their dogs on the leash. We educated patrons for the first six weeks we were here and about the changes that were coming.
What’s your favorite part of your job?
The people. I’m coming from a retail management background so I’m a people person. I like talking and meeting new people every day.
What do you like most about working at Fort Greene Park?
This is my park. I was born at Brooklyn Hospital and raised in the neighborhood until I was seven. I still have family here. I love the tuna fish sandwiches at Farmer in the Deli on Myrtle Ave. I’m infatuated with the monument stairs and the history.
When not at the park, what do you do for fun?
I love to cook and do event planning for children’s birthdays and baby showers. I love kids.
Dave Barker, Park Director
The Fort Greene Park community mourns the loss of the Myrtle playground volunteer caretaker Jamie Ramirez, who passed away at the end of June. Jamie was recognized at the Conservancy’s Monumental celebration in May as one of six Community Heroes. Fort Greene Park Director David Barker reflects on Jamie’s 20 years of service to the playground.
The Fort Greene Park Conservancy is excited to announce our full lineup of free programming for the summer months. With a number of returning family-favorite programs, as well as the addition of a brand new summer movie series and dance program, summer in Fort Greene will have something for everyone! Read more below to learn about all the fun Fort Greene Park has to offer.
Continued growth and capacity-building has allowed us to offer more new and exciting programs in Fort Greene Park than ever before. New program support from the New York State Council for the Humanities and National Environmental Education Foundation, the Brooklyn Arts Council, Whole Foods Market 365, Chelsea Piers Fitness, the Brooklyn Hospital Center, and the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, as well as continued sponsorship from longtime partners in NYC Parks, Majority Leader Laurie A. Cumbo, Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership, the Eloise Susanna Gale Foundation, and the Butler Family Foundation, has helped sustain existing programming (Kids Concerts, Wallabout Historic Walking Tours, Walt Whitman Walking Tours), and expand offerings (Myrtle Movies, Dance and Music with Cumbe Kidz, Yoga with Chelsea Piers Fitness).
See the full list of programs below! Want to make a gift to support summer in Fort Greene Park and FGPC's free programs? Check out our membership options here, or make a 100% tax deductible contribution!
Myrtle Movies with Rooftop Films
Thursdays, June 14, July 19, August 23, 7:00pm-11:00pm
FGPC is excited to announce a brand-new partnership with Rooftoop Films to bring you our first-ever FREE summer movie series! Join us and our friends at Rooftop on the lawn overlooking Myrtle Avenue for three nights of incredible open-air cinema, featuring neighborhood favorites and some of the best new independent films. Myrtle Movies are generously supported by the Brooklyn Hospital Center and Whole Foods Market 365. July and August screenings will include live music performances before films begin.
Fort Greene Park Jazz Festival
Two Days–July 21 and September 8, 3:00p-7:00p
For two days this summer, local jazz legend Eric Frazier will again bring in all-star lineup of some of the finest musicians in New York City to Fort Greene Park for its eighth year. Special features this year will include special performances from Hanka G, Stacey Haughton, Sivan Arbel, Rome Neal, and Eric Frazier, as well as performances from other special guests. There will also be free giveaways on both Saturdays. Contact: email@example.com, or visit www.fortgreeneparkjazzfestival.com for more information.
Two Days, July 8 and August 12, 4:00p-8:00p
A true neighborhood institution, Soul Summit will bring two Sundays of house music and community to Fort Greene Park in their 15th year. Free and open to the public. Visit www.soulsummitmusic.com for more information.
Shakespeare in the Park with Hip to Hip Theatre Company
Two Fridays, July 27, and Friday August 3, 7:00pm
FGPC partners with Hip to Hip Theatre Company to bring a special performance of two Shakespeare classics to Fort Greene Park. Both performances will also feature a special Kids and the Classics workshop before the show starts. Free and open to the public. Learn more at www.hiptohip.org.
Dance and Music with Cumbe Kidz
Tuesdays, July 17, July 24, July 31, 10:00am-11:00am
Join FGPC and Cumbe: Center for African and Diaspora Dance as we take a fun journey through the African diaspora by way of Fort Greene Park! We invite families to visit Jamaica, Cuba and the U.S. through our interactive Caribbean, Hip Hop and Afro-Cuban classes. Watch master artists perform, then experience the joy and learn the movements through a class and a dance jam. This special workshop series is supported in part by a generous grant from the Eloise Susanna Gale Foundation.
Performances are free, suitable for children of all ages and require no prior formal instruction. Meet in the Monument Plaza’s western wing.
July 17: Art of Legohn (Afro-Caribbean w/ live percussion)
July 24: Art of Legohn (Hip Hop)
July 31: Afro Cuban with Tony Domenech
Music in the Grove: Kids Concerts
Wednesdays, June 20-August 8, 10:00am-11:00am
A perennial favorite among young families in the neighborhood, FGPC’s Music in the Grove: Kids Concerts series returns for its seventh season. These free hour-long concerts bring parents and children of all ages together with some of the finest talent in Brooklyn for a romping, stomping good time! Supported by a generous multi-year grant from the Butler Family Foundation in the name of Hugh and Karen Butler Connell, as well as NYC Council Majority Leader Laurie Cumbo. Performances are free and open to children and caretakers of all ages.
June 20: Suzi Shelton
June 27: The Dad Beats
July 11: Flor Bromley
July 18: Mil’s Trills
July 25: Astrograss
August 1: Soul Science Lab
August 8: Baby in Tune
Music in the Grove: Sunday Kids Concerts
Sundays, July 15, July 29, August 5, 11:00am-12:00pm:
To meet the tremendous demand for more family programming in Fort Greene Park, FGPC is pleased to announce the expansion of Music In the Grove: Kids Concerts to include three special Sunday performances! Made possible by special funding from the Butler Family Foundation and NYC Council Member Laurie A. Cumbo. July 15 will feature a special partnership with Cumbe: Center for African and Diaspora Dance!
July 15: Kotchgna Dance Company
July 29: Rolie Polie Guacamole
August 5: Hopalong Andrew
Historic Walking Tour Series
Select Saturdays, June 9-October 20, 11:00am-12:30pm
FGPC is excited to announce another full season of neighborhood walking tours for 2018. The ever-popular Wallabout Historic Walking Tour series returns, produced in partnership with the Myrtle Avenue Revitalization Project, as well as our well-loved Walt Whitman Walking Tours of Fort Greene, which concentrate on the park, Walt Whitman’s life and work, as well as early Brooklyn History. All tours include special musical performances, produced in collaboration with the Walt Whitman Project and American Opera Projects. Walt Whitman Walking Tours are supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, as well as The Corcoran Group.
June 9: Walt Whitman Walking Tour
June 16: Wallabout Historic Walking Tour
July 14: Walt Whitman Walking Tour
July 21: Wallabout Historic Walking Tour
August 11: Walt Whitman Walking Tour
August 18: Wallabout Historic Walking Tour
September 15: Wallabout Historic Walking Tour
October 20: Wallabout Historic Walking Tour
Free, but registration required via Eventbrite. Sign up through the links above.
New for 2018: Free Yoga with Chelsea Piers Fitness
Saturdays, June 9-October 20, 11:00am
Chelsea Piers Fitness & The Fort Greene Park Conservancy have teamed up for an incredible Summer Yoga Series. Connect with the Earth and its energy at the Monument Greene Lawns in Fort Greene Park. Chelsea Piers Fitness Evolve Yoga instructors will lead an all level one-hour Vinyasa class every Saturday morning at 11:00am from June through mid-October, weather permitting.
Free Tai Chi Group
Sundays, June 3-September 30 10:00am-11:15pm
Together with local Tai Chi leaders Leon Chung and Marilyn Fleming, FGPC will bring a full summer of free Tai Chi practice to Fort Greene Park. Group will meet on the Monument Plaza adjacent to the Visitor Center. There is a brief introduction and movement mostly in silence following the leaders’ movements. Practitioners of all levels welcome. Participants should wear comfortable clothes and sneakers. Class will be cancelled in the event of inclement weather or rain.
Learn more at www.taichibklyn.com.
As the busy summer season kicks off, read about exciting changes to how the NYC Parks team cares for Fort Greene Park. The "Zone Management" program brings an infusion of city-funded maintenance and enforcement staff and equipment to keep our park cleaner and greener year-round.
As the temperatures drops, activity around the park seems to slow down just enough to give us a moment to reflect on the past year and all that we accomplished. 2017 was a tremendous year for FGPC— we hired an additional full-time staff person, took on a team of two fantastic interns to support our summer programming, and welcomed two NYC Service Civic Corps Members in the fall to lead and grow our volunteer efforts during their ten-month term of service. In our final stretch of the year, we are planning for a monumental 2018 and cannot wait to share all we have planned for the year ahead. Before we get there, we want to reflect on five things that made 2017 incredible: