You can admire these white lovelies, nestled within Brooklyn Bridge Park’s aptly named Ornamental Gardens, located at the main entrance to Pier 1. Here, nature fans can stroll along winding pathways bursting with vibrant springtime hues of native and exotic plants and trees now in full bloom. The park’s new Spring Plant Guide highlights 14 blossoming beauties showcased in a unique floral destination.
So, if your favorite color is lavender, you must see the park’s latest “ornaments,” Spanish Bluebells, as you experience the sweet aroma of Fragrant Sumac and discover other wild bouquets, like the pink and white Korean Spice Viburnum and the delicate, yellow Corneliancherry Dogwood.
A painter’s paradise and a favorite of the park’s growing butterfly and migratory bird – as well as human – populations, Pier 1’s five spectacular Freshwater Gardens are each adorned with different ornamental plantings and more bright floral treasures – truly, a sight to behold.
Your next adventure should be lush Woodland Gardens on Pier 1. Running along the Freshwater Gardens and the Harbor View, Bridge View and Vale Lawns, they provide a peaceful haven – a cool retreat where you can relax and meditate amidst trees, shrubs, flowering herbaceous plants and grasses.
Why not enjoy the warm weather and spend an entire day at the park? Stroll hand-in-hand with your better half along Pier 1’s waterfront promenade, let the kids loose at the playground; compete at your choice of 3 sand volleyball courts on Pier 6, which also boasts a bikeway/walkway and dog run. Or, embark from the river’s edge in a kayak or rowboat.
When complete, the park will offer 3 multi-purpose sports fields for soccer, cricket, lacrosse and softball, on Pier 5. On Pier 2, hard-court facilities for basketball, tetherball, handball and bocce will be provided, as well as a full-size, in-line skating rink. Piers 2 and 3 will have two tennis courts.
Ellen Ryan, Vice Pres. of Strategic Partnerships for Brooklyn Bridge Park said, “The active recreation that the Pier 5 soccer fields will bring to the Park is highly anticipated by many youth and adult leagues, as well as schools in the adjoining neighborhoods. We are working collaboratively with many constituencies to ensure that these fields enjoy full usage once they are open.”
A Work in Progress
The Picnic Peninsula has come a long way since January 2012, when it was just a blank canvas. The vision – to transform this space into a vibrant area containing picnic tables, barbecues, a concession, and play equipment – will be coming to fruition in the near future.
“The Pier 5 Picnic Peninsula is visibly taking shape outside our windows. Meanwhile, the Squibb Park Bridge is also being constructed off-site, ensuring that we will have improved access to the park from Brooklyn Heights,” said Regina Myer, President of Brooklyn Bridge Park. “We are thrilled to see the progress on these unique amenities, and look forward to opening both to the public in the late fall.”
planting roofs will soon grace the tops of several structures within BBP, absorbing rainwater, providing building insulation, creating habitat for wildlife, and helping to lower urban air temperatures.
BBP has partnered with Beautiful Earth Group, an innovative renewable energy company, which has created the New York Center for Sustainable Energy (NYCSE), located on Pier 1.
NYCSE will be used for tours, lectures and workshops focusing on renewable energy, and provide a learning environment for students, teachers and families working with BBP and the BBP Conservancy.
The Jewel of the park
Located in the renovated Empire Fulton Ferry section of BBP, and set to the backdrop of the Manhattan skyline, a brightly lit glass pavilion housing the historic Jane’s Carousel, illuminates the East River at night.
The lovely vintage carousel features a stable of 48 carved wooden horses, original scenery panels and beveled mirrors, and hosts thousands of happy kids year-round.
The Pavilion was named the "Best Public Space” by the 2012 Travel + Leisure Design Awards. www.janescarousel.com
And what better way to end the day at BBP, than by taking in those majestic views of the Lower Manhattan skyline, New York Harbor, and the twinkling lights of the Brooklyn Bridge?
Fulton Ferry Landing
The refurbished pier at the foot of Old Fulton Street is one of Brooklyn’s most historic sites, marking the location of the first ferry service between Brooklyn and Manhattan, in 1642.
A favorite of bridal parties and tourists for its picturesque setting and breathtaking views, the Landing features custom-designed marine railings that interweave Walt Whitman’s famous “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry” poem with imagery evocative of the Brooklyn Bridge:
“On the ferry-boats, the hundreds and hundreds that cross, returning home, are more curious to me than you suppose.…”
“Others will enter the gates of the ferry, and cross from shore to shore….”
“Others will see the shipping of Manhattan north and west, and the heights of Brooklyn to the south and east….
Fifty years hence, others will see them as they cross, the sun half an hour high;Will enjoy the sunset, the pouring in of the flood-tide, the falling back to the sea of the ebb-tide….”
Visitors can access New York Water Taxi service to Governors Island and other points in the harbor, from this pier.
An extra addition
Located near Pier 1, at the Old Fulton St. entrance, and entered via Fulton Ferry Landing, Bargemusic is the only floating concert hall in the world, presenting 220 chamber music concerts annually, including jazz. Free tickets are offered to a variety of groups every week, plus a monthly free concert is open to the community. [For schedules/ticket info call: 718-624-2083].
For upcoming activities/events at the park visit: rooklynbridgeparknyc.org/events/calendar