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The Brooklyn Greenway is expanding to Columbia Street between Degraw and Kane, and a desolate stretch of waterfront is about to get much greener. There’s already a protected bike lane on Columbia Street, but the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative is going to begin landscaping the first part of the Columbia Waterfront Park.

They’re looking for enthusiastic volunteers to help with spreading compost, laying seed, and covering the seeded area with jute mats. Volunteers will work under the direction of landscape architect and ecologist Bryan Quinn.

The park is part of the Initiative’s effort to restore native plant communities and the ecosystems they support. Interested volunteers can find RSVP details here on BGI’s website. Gardeners will meet Sunday morning at 10 am at the BGI offices at 153 Columbia Street. To see what the Columbia Street part of the Greenway looks like now, click through the jump.

Rendering by Rogers Marvel Architects for Brooklyn Greenway Initiative

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If you’re interested in supporting the new Brooklyn Greenway, the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative is hosting a half marathon on October 20. The route will follow the completed and future portions of the waterfront Greenway, which snakes through south Williamsburg, around the Navy Yard, and through Brooklyn Bridge Park. The 14-mile run will start and finish in Williamsburg’s East River State Park, and you can check out the route here. BGI members can register for $25, and the general public pays $35. The event will take place rain or shine. But if it’s cancelled because of severe weather, the race won’t be rescheduled and the entry fees will be considered charitable donations to the Brooklyn Greenway. You can find all the info on BGI’s website and on the event’s Facebook page.

Photo by the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative

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Last week Community Board 1’s Transportation Committee updated other board members on the progress of the Waterfront Greenway plans through North Brooklyn. The greenway improvements for Kent Avenue (pictured) include building out curbs to enhance the bike lanes, landscaping and pedestrian refuge islands. New pedestrian crossing designs will also go on Kent. DOT will install shared lane markings on Calyer and Quay Streets and upgrade the shared lane markings on Franklin Street. Finally, the DOT outlined plans on West Street from Eagle to Quay Streets, which include two separate, dedicated bike lanes; resurfacing the roadway; improving the roadway width; extending Kent Avenue North; widening sidewalks; adding greenery; and possibly converting West Street to a one-way street. (The conversion hasn’t been decided yet and some residents expressed concerns over the conversion.) There is still no set timeline for greenway construction, and some of the improvements are a few years off. Depending on the development of Bushwick Inlet Park, the cityalso plans to explore the extension of the greeenway through the future park and possibly building a bicycle/pedestrian bridge over Newtown Creek.

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The Eagle points to the fact that the DOT recently launched an “online portal” for the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway. The most useful part of the site so far is the map showing which sections have already been built and which are planned or proposed. The website will also have updates on workshops for the project that are scheduled to take place in the fall.
Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway [DOT]