Aug. 27, 2019 By Allie Griffin
New York state has committed $6 million to fund the creation of seven acres of parkland beneath the Kosciuszko Bridge in Greenpoint, in what will be known as “Under the K.”
The money will fund the completion of the first and second phases of park construction and summer programming in the park will begin by the summer of 2020, according to Assembly Member Joe Lentol’s office who made the announcement today.
“This new project to transform space under the Kosciuszko Bridge into a public open space is exactly what this community needs. Not only will this versatile space encourage New Yorkers to spend more time outdoors, it will serve our community through artistic programs, youth programs and entertainment for all ages,” Lentol said. “I commend Governor Cuomo for recognizing this need for our community and for getting it done, and through these efforts we are learning that as we rebuild our infrastructure we can add beauty and open space in new and refreshing ways.”
In June, the North Brooklyn Parks Alliance unveiled the plans for “Under the K,” which will offer visitors waterfront access, public art installations, musical performances and recreation.
Designed by Canadian landscape architecture firm PUBLIC WORK — the masterminds behind The Bentway, a similarly linear park underneath a Toronto expressway — the Greenpoint park will feature four distinct spaces and combine the industrial designs of the bridge’s soaring beams with the natural ecology of Newtown Creek.
The New York State Department of Transportation will provide the use of the state land to North Brooklyn Parks Alliance, which is leading the park’s design and construction. Phase one of the project will include creating the park’s perimeter, the preparation of future planting areas, and the laying of asphalt and creation of pedestrian paths.
With phase one completed, the park’s planned programming may begin as early as Memorial Day 2020.
Phase two of construction, fully funded with the $6 million, will introduce “park elements” to the space, including elevating specified areas of the park with landscaped mounds, installing seating areas, planting trees and designing and planting landscaped gardens with a focus on native plantings.
“Located at the hub of four of diverse and growing neighborhoods, Under the K will fill a void within the area’s current open space options,” Lentol’s office said in a statement. “Envisioned as a collaborative space unlike other traditional parks, Under the K will celebrate the resilience of nature and Brooklyn’s diverse community culture.”