Brooklyn, NY, December 22, 2017— Brooklyn Bridge Park (BBP) and Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy (Conservancy) celebrate the conclusion of their seventh and busiest summer season yet. Popular returning events and programs as well as new offerings attracted greater numbers of attendees than ever before.
Popular events returned to BBP this summer, including Photoville, Brooklyn Bodega’s Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival, and the NYRR Brooklyn Half Pre-Party, as well as the New York Red Bulls 5v5 Soccer Tournament, the charity soccer tournament NYFEST, Met Opera, World Science Festival, and Laughter in the Park. Additionally, many recurring programs enjoyed another successful season, including free kayaking with the BBP Boathouse, and weekly 5k Open Runs with New York Road Runners.
Movies With A View, the Conservancy’s popular outdoor film series, returned for its eighteenth year with a twist; in partnering with DeKalb Market Hall, the 8-week series included concessions from Brooklyn food vendors, and beer and wine for the first time in its history. All the Park’s a Stage allowed 2,000 visitors to explore different parts of the park as they were treated to a panoramic performance of Macbeth by New York Classical Theatre. The Conservancy also hosted over 100 free fitness classes for over 1,800 participants this summer, including sunrise yoga, pilates, Broadway dance, Zumba, and basketball clinics. An additional 5,500 visitors took to the water with walkup kayaking sessions and kayak polo games. Other highlights included the annual Hindu Lamp Festival which drew 1,100 visitors to Pebble Beach, and Harvest Festival which drew 7,000 people to Pier 6 and marked the end of the programming season.
Nearly 8,000 students from 114 schools across New York City attended education programs in the park this year. Children from Pre-K to 12th grade used the park as a living classroom to learn about ecology, sustainability, and the history of the Brooklyn waterfront. The Environmental Education Center, which celebrated its second-year anniversary in September, was essential to the continued success of the Conservancy’s educational programming. The Center’s weekly open hours attracted nearly 9,000 visitors this season, and will continue year-round.
The Conservancy also partnered with 735 volunteers who contributed 3,742 service hours to the park. Some volunteers worked closely with the park’s gardeners and horticulture team to plant, mulch, and weed; while others led park tours as docents, welcomed visitors as park greeters, and taught at the Ed Center. This year, 16% of volunteers were under 18. Mindful of this growing trend in young stewards, the Conservancy also hosted a program exclusively for teens. TIDES (Teens Interested in and Dedicated to Environmental Sciences) returned for its second year in the park. Teens from across the city came together every Saturday for six weeks to complete community service hours through oyster monitoring, coastal cleanups, and gardening.
New events and activation of Brooklyn Bridge Plaza also made a splash in the Park this season. BBP welcomed Photoville back for its sixth consecutive season at the Park. A record number of 90,000 visitors headed to Brooklyn Bridge Plaza to experience the one-of-a-kind photo festival. Brooklyn Bodega’s Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival also returned to BBP this summer. In August, Nintendo’s Summer of Play gave fans the chance to play a wide variety of Nintendo Switch and Nintendo 3DS games under the Brooklyn Bridge. Greenpeace’s Arctic Sunrise, docked at Pier 6 in October, welcomed over 2,000 visitors during their free guided tours. At Pier 2, the Brooklyn Nets hosted Practice in the Park, giving fans the chance to watch the entire team take the court for drills as they prepared for the upcoming season.
Popular park amenities such as the roller rink and climbing wall continued to be a hit with park goers. DUMBO Boulders Powered by the Cliffs welcomed over 38,000 climbers, while the Pier 2 Roller Rink welcomed over 72,000 visitors. At Empire Stores, over 17,000 people visited Brooklyn Historical Society DUMBO to see Shifting Perspectives, a photo exhibit of Brooklyn’s waterfront from the early 20th century to today. BHS DUMBO’s major, long-term installation, Waterfront, will open to the public in January 2018.
This summer was also a smashing success for public art in the Park. The Public Art Fund brought Anish Kapoor’s incredible work, Descension, to Pier 1, where visitors were captivated by the massive, continuously spiraling funnel of water. United Photo Industry’s makeshift exhibition, The Fence, also stretched along BBP’s pathways for another summer.
BBP made significant progress on construction of new parkland, with 80% of the Park now complete. In July, BBP celebrated the opening of the Pier 5 uplands, expanding the Park’s green space east of the Picnic Peninsula, adding sloped and terraced lawns, a grove with a flexible seating area, and a sound attenuating berm to reduce traffic noise. At Pier 3, the final pier to be transformed into parkland, work continues on its large central lawn and whimsical labyrinth garden. Construction is scheduled for completion in summer 2018.
“With the opening of the Pier 5 uplands, the debut of BHS DUMBO, and more programs than ever before, 2017 has been our best summer yet,” said Eric Landau, Brooklyn Bridge Park President. “There’s much more to come when Pier 3 opens to the public next summer. Its innovative play features, grand lawn and lush plantings are sure to be a hit with visitors.”
“We’re incredibly proud of all the free events and activities we put on this year,” said Nancy Webster, Executive Director of Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy. “As the park nears completion, we’re looking forward to creating more innovative and engaging programs that bring the waterfront to life.”
“This year in Brooklyn Bridge Park, our programs stretched from A to Z, literally,” said Devin Mathis, the Conservancy’s Director of Programs. “From All the Park’s a Stage to Zumba classes, we brought immersive performances, hands-on educational experiences, exhilarating recreational opportunities, and so much more to our visitors.”
Brooklyn Bridge Park Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation, known as Brooklyn Bridge Park (BBP), is the not-for-profit entity responsible for the planning, construction, maintenance and operation of Brooklyn Bridge Park, an 85-acre sustainable waterfront park spanning 1.3 miles along Brooklyn’s East River shoreline. As steward of the park, BBP has transformed this previously deteriorated stretch of waterfront into a world-class park where the public can gather, play, relax and enjoy sweeping views of New York Harbor. The self-sustaining park was designed by the award-winning firm of Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc. and features expansive lawns, rolling hills, waterfront promenades, innovative playgrounds, a greenway, sports facilities and the popular Jane’s Carousel. BBP serves thousands of people on any given seasonal day, who come to picnic, walk their dog, play soccer, jog, bike or roller skate. Brooklyn Bridge Park is a signature public investment for the 21st Century and will be an enduring legacy for the communities, elected officials and public servants who made it happen.
Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy The Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy has worked for over 30 years to bring Brooklyn Bridge Park to life. We started out as grassroots advocates, bringing together residents, government, and local supporters to transform an abandoned waterfront into the park you see today. Now an essential supporter, we work in partnership with Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation to ensure that the park reaches its full potential as a dynamic and vibrant public space for Brooklyn, New York City, and beyond. The Conservancy produces diverse and innovative programming for park visitors and cultivates volunteer and philanthropic support of this special place on the Brooklyn waterfront. Since 2000, more than 1,000,000 visitors have enjoyed the Conservancy’s free, public programs in Brooklyn Bridge Park.