Tuesday, December 16, 2008

From ‘Crack Garden’ to Greenway

Three Like Minds Are Forging Ahead

Milton Puryear (above right) and Brian McCormick (above left) met in 1997, under somewhat unusual circumstances.

Both had recently moved to the Columbia Waterfront neighborhood, and both were passionate about being outdoors.

So Puryear started a garden of sorts, in a wide crack on the west side of Hicks Street, south of Congress Street, near his home. He frequently worked on it, calling it the “Crack Garden,” and McCormick often walked by.

“Milton single-handedly eradicated all the ailanthus trees” that made the crack, and brought flowers in, said McCormick. One day, McCormick went up to Puryear and asked, “Can I help you? This looks dangerous.” With McCormick’s help — which included putting up a traffic cone to make sure Puryear didn’t get hit by any cars — a friendship was born.

Sadly, the Crack Garden no longer exists. Maintenance crews came along and destroyed it, said Puryear, who decided not to rebuild. “It was too much effort to be putting back into something that could just go away like that. That’s when we decided to make a real Greenway.”

“Myself and Milton have been working on the Greenway since 1998,” said McCormick. “We were the chair and co-chair of an organization called the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway Task Force. Meg [Fellerath] joined us about a couple of years later.”

“I moved to the neighborhood in 2001 and met Brian on the street,” said Fellerath (above center). The three of them incorporated as the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative (BGI) in 2004. Their objective was “to not only be advocates, but be catalysts and the planners of what became a project that spanned 14 miles along the Brooklyn Waterfront,” explained McCormick.

The three of them, upon moving to the neighborhood, felt that it lacked a shared space where people could be safe and active outside. Fellerath said ... read more.

Photo above courtesy of the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative

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Global Warming: We Have to Act Now

The Associated Press has released a story about President-Elect Obama's promise to act on reducing emissions as soon as he is in office — but is there enough time left?

Obama Left With Little Time to Curb Global Warming

By Seth Borenstein

WASHINGTON (AP) - When Bill Clinton took office in 1993, global warming was a slow-moving environmental problem that was easy to ignore. Now it is a ticking time bomb that President-elect Barack Obama can't avoid.

Since Clinton's inauguration, summer Arctic sea ice has lost the equivalent of Alaska, California and Texas. The 10 hottest years on record have occurred since Clinton's second inauguration. Global warming is accelerating. Time is close to running out, and Obama knows it.

"The time for delay is over; the time for denial is over," he said on Tuesday after meeting with former Vice President Al Gore, who won a Nobel Peace Prize for his work on global warming. "We all believe what the scientists have been telling us for years now that this is a matter of urgency and national security and it has to be dealt with in a serious way." ... read more

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Growing and Greening New York: PlaNYC and the Future of the City Exhibit Opens at the Museum of the City of New York

The Eagle received this statement from Mayor Bloomberg:

"Congratulations to The Museum of the City of New York for the opening of their new exhibition on PlaNYC: "Growing and Greening New York." The Museum is a living museum — an institution that embraces the future as much as it cherishes and preserves the past — and sustainability has become more and more important to our quality of life. We launched PlaNYC in 2006 with a substantial public outreach campaign, and this great exhibit is just one more way of expanding the conversation and engaging New Yorkers on this issue. The exhibition takes visitors through the course of a typical day in 2030 — from 7:00 AM to 2:00 AM — and I encourage all New Yorkers to come out and view it.

"The Museum curators and the City agencies that cooperated with them have staged an exhibit that teaches, inspires, and entertains. And that's more important than ever — because in these tough economic times, our cultural community not only supports tourism and jobs in the City, it lifts our collective spirit."

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