Get Involved with McGolrick Park’s Urban Oasis

by Heather Van De Mark on

Earlier in May, I reported on NYC Audubon’s plan to create an Urban Oasis in McGolrick Park to provide food and shelter for migratory birds. Last week, I was pleasantly surprised to see a large swath of the park (along Russell Street) already weeded and with lots of little new plants and being watered by some volunteers.

NYC Audubon intern (right) and project manager Kaitlyn (left)

NYC Audubon intern (right) and project manager Kaitlyn (left)

I briefly spoke with Kaitlyn P. who is overseeing the McGolrick Park project for NYC Audubon. She said they’re always looking for residents to get involved with watering, spreading compost and weeding to ensure that the urban oasis flourishes. Volunteers communicate by posting to NYC Audubon’s “Native Garden Caretakers” google group. It’s a very casual commitment with no formal schedule. Volunteers are asked to stop by and water or weed when they have spare time. Even if a volunteer can only water a small area once in a while, it helps!

There will also be more formal, scheduled volunteer opportunities, such as composting and mulching workdays. The next mulching/weeding workday will be Sunday, August 3 from 11 am to 4 pm.

Anyone can get involved by emailing volunteer@nycaudubon.org, or stop and say hello if you see someone working on the Russell Street side of the park.

A Greenpoint family volunteer to keep the oasis watered.

A Greenpoint family volunteer to keep the oasis watered.

The Urban Oasis is a native plant garden designed to attract native birds, butterflies, and other pollinators to the park. Most of the plants put in are small now, but over the next few years they will grow and fill in quite a bit. All the plants are perennials that will come back year after year.

Soon to be planted native species.

Soon to be planted native species.

Heather Van De Mark

Heather Van De Mark

Heather is a designer/writer specializing in non-profit organizations and social causes. Originally from central NY, Heather settled into the charming Greenpoint neighborhood in 2011. While most of her community activism takes place from behind a computer screen, Heather can often be found at CB1 meetings, the McCarren Park track and any of the parks along the waterfront.

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