Newtown Creek Nature Walk To Double In Size, City Says


GREENPOINT, BROOKLYN — A nature walk along Newtown Creek will double in size over the next few years, including a bridge-like connector that will go over the water to link both sides of the waterfront, the city announced Friday.

Three city agencies have started construction on the current quarter mile-long nature walk, which was first built in 2007. The project will build an over-water extender to connect the existing walk on the west side of Whale Creek to a new area on the east side of the Creek, which will run down Kingsland Avenue.

The additions will make the walk accessible from both sides of a Wastewater Resource Recovery Facility by 2021, officials said.

"The Newtown Creek Nature Walk is a symbol of beauty in the midst of an area impacted by environmental adversity," =Assembly Member Joe Lentol said. "The Nature Walk's expansion adds much needed open space and helps to create a vision for Greenpoint where open space, history, and culture are at the forefront."

The Newtown Creek, which is designated as a hazardous Superfund site, is known as one of the most polluted waterways in the country. The Environmental Protection Agency has been working on a clean-up plan for the creek since it was designated as a Superfund in 2010.

The expansion of the nature walk will include three 60-foot long steel vessels that will include connecting ramps, bridges and a central seating area. The eastern side of the creek will be transformed into a 430-foot long walk landscaped with street trees, shaded stone benches, bike racks, a water foundation, rain gardens and tree fossils from the City's Schoharie Reservoir, officials said.

The existing walk, created by sculpture artist George Trakas, explore the history of the waterway with a 170-foot-long vessel passage and trash cans that look like barrels.

"The Newtown Creek Nature Walk is helping to re-introduce a vital natural area to a whole new generation of New Yorkers," said Department of Design and Construction Commissioner Lorraine Grillo. "The City has made tremendous investments to capture combined sewer overflow and to improve the quality of water in our harbor, and we're very pleased to work with DEP to help people experience the effects of those investments."

The city is also upgrading about a mile of the perimeter fence along the wastewater facility, which they expect to be completed this year.

The project is led by the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the Department of Design and Construction (DDC) and Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA).