Last month, NYC Parks officially launched Parks Without Borders — an agency-level initiative “to make parks mroe open, welcoming and beautiful by improving entrances, edges, and park-adjacent spaces. First announced as part of Vision 3 in Mayor de Blasio’s OneNYC, Parks Without is backed by $50 Million in Mayoral funding to make transformative changes that make parks more accessible, improve neighborhoods, and create vibrant public places. It’s something that’s been on our radar for quite some time — even though Fort Greene Park has some lovely, historic walls, it also has plenty of perimeter space outside those walls that we think could benefit tremendously from the Parks Without Borders treatment. Now that the program is live, we’re excited to share with you how we’re working towards ensuring that Fort Greene Park receives some of the funding that’s out there.
This is my first holiday season as a part of the Fort Greene Park community. For whatever reason, I’m mostly a sucker for all kinds of year-end cheer, and this neighborhood has not disappointed in the way of spirit or enthusiasm for the most wonderful time of the year. I get giddy walking down Myrtle Avenue and Fulton Streets all aglow with holiday decorations. Passing by storefronts on sidewalks flanked with firs and other festive wares generally has me pining that December’s olfactory features were a little more present during the other months of the year. It’s been an amazing ten months in Fort Greene, and I’ve been grateful to have a new home for the holidays.
The Conservancy’s own annual tree lighting with Myrtle Avenue Revitalization Project was slated to be our final event of the year, and something I had been looking forward to for quite some time. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect (I wasn’t present at last year’s inaugural affair), but stories of frigid weather from last year had me hoping for at least slightly kinder conditions. We had been talking with MARP’s team for months about what we could add to the program this year — a taller tree, local carolers, better management of the line to meet Santa, and a toy drive organized by Fort Greene SNAP and the Whitman Resident Association were all new for this year. Another idea was to round up some ornaments for our tree. The set we found were perfectly close-to-home, profoundly and beautifully so.