Havemeyer Park To Bring An Acre of Open Space to Southside Williamsburg

by Ryan Watson on

Summertime is here. The sunflowers are opening. The bike track has been shaped and capped. The plants are in the ground. The sod has been laid and now it’s time to open this park to the public! The 55,000 square foot former parking lot of the Domino Sugar Factory, now named Havemeyer Park, is officially set to open to the public on Saturday, July 13th!

For those unfamiliar with the project, earlier this year Two Trees Management issued a request for proposals for temporary use of the former parking lot, known as “Site E”, which had remained vacant for almost a decade. Like all other neighborhoods in Brooklyn’s Community Board 1, Southside Williamsburg has some of the lowest per capita open space in all of New York City. The addition of more publicly accessible open green space was paramount in the selection process and three projects were chosen to utilize the space.

2013 Ryan Watson. Sunset through the Domino Tower at North Brooklyn Farms.

The S. 3rd section of Havemeyer Park is home to North Brooklyn Farms (NBk), an urban farm demonstrating the transformative potential of urban agriculture [Full disclosure: I am co-founder of North Brooklyn Farms]. Local residents and visitors alike will be able tp purchase farm-grown produce at the bi-weekly farmstand (every 2nd Saturday from 10:00am – 3:00pm), attend skill sharing workshops on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights that cover a wide variety of sustainable gardening practices, as well as participate in “Harvest Your Own” supper clubs on the farm. Another key element of the mission at NBk is to provide city-dwellers the opportunity to reconnect with natural spaces and get their hands dirty. Through their online calendar, which can be found at NorthBrooklynFarms.com, prospective volunteers are welcome to come help out and experience a few hours of working on the farm. For more information and further details on summer programming, workshops and supper clubs follow @nbk_farms on Twitter or like them on Facebook.

The eastern edge of Havemeyer Park will be a bilingual reading room and park/event space managed by Bobby Redd. The space will feature a variety of community programming including movie nights with Nitehawk Cinema, a handful of concerts throughout the summer and other events for the residents of Southside. For more information on programming and upcoming events, check out @bbbyredd on Twitter.

And finally, the Kent Avenue side of the park will be home to a 22,000 square foot bike track, dubbed Brooklyn Bike Park, which will be run by local bike shop Ride Brooklyn in partnership with the New York City Mountain Bike Association, and BKMTB. The park will feature both beginner and advanced tracks, various terrain elements, a plethora of native plants and sustainable rain garden to absorb stormwater runoff back into the ground.

Overall, things are shaping up to be a good summer in North Brooklyn’s newest open green space at Havemeyer Park!

Ryan Watson

Ryan Watson

Originally from Los Angeles, Ryan is a relatively new but very proud resident of Greenpoint. He was drawn to Greenpoint by the strong sense of community and history of local activism. Ryan can be found at North Brooklyn Farms, the urban farm at the Domino Sugar Factory, which he co-founded or working in the 61 Franklin Street Community Garden.

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