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:
We’ve got a lot to be thankful for in 2016—new partnerships with great neighbors like Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, Kickstarter, and The Brooklyn Hospital; our biggest programming season ever, with over 60 free events; and the completion of our first capital project on Washington Park. All of this, in what was just our first year as a staffed organization. As a new year approaches, we know that we will still need to provide critical resources for the work that needs to be done in Fort Greene Park in 2017. So at our Third Annual Tree Lighting this weekend with the Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership, we asked Santa for a few things below that we would really, really love to find under the tree this year.
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.