Brooklyn Boro

A beautiful Earth Day across Brooklyn brings out crowds

DOT sponsored numerous car-free streets

April 23, 2023 Mary Frost
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Lovely weather (4 degrees above normal) brought out thousands to celebrate Earth Day at events across Brooklyn on Saturday — from neighborhood cleanups and birdwatching to performances and solar demonstrations.

To encourage the car-free concept, NYC’s Department of Transportation created special car-free Signature locations for the day. In Brooklyn, Troutman Street at St. Nicholas Avenue to Irving Avenue was dedicated by DOT for games and special events. Quieter car-free blocks were also set aside, allowing neighbors to mellow out on benches, read or listen to music without having to dodge vehicles.

A free Zumba class with teacher Natarsha McQueen was part of Albee Square’s 2023 Earth Day celebration in Downtown Brooklyn on Saturday. Eagle photo by Mary Frost

Brooklyn’s parks and gardens provided numerous ways to celebrate and nurture the Earth, with workshops and mulching at Prospect Park, a snail safari at Brooklyn Bridge Park, composting in Red Hook, a pollinator garden ribbon-cutting at the President Street Garden, a cleanup in Cadman Park’s Juneteenth Grove and many more happenings. Libraries across the borough also sponsored special Earth Day events.

Albee Square in Downtown Brooklyn was transformed into a traffic-free festival, courtesy of the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership with additional support from Con Edison. Families and neighbors enjoyed crafts, a book giveaway, DJ Boogie, bicycle lessons, performances by the Redhawk Native American dancers and the Brooklyn United Marching Band, and Zumba lessons with Natarsha McQueen.

The publication of Rachel Carson’s bestseller Silent Spring in 1962 — along with the era’s oil spills, choking air pollution and chemical-laden lakes and rivers — awakened the public’s consciousness of the rapid degradation of the planet, spawning the birth of the modern environmental movement and the first Earth Day in 1970.

According to Earthday.org, that first Earth Day led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the National Environmental Education Act, the Occupational Safety and Health Act, and the Clean Air Act. Two years later Congress passed the Clean Water Act.

Quiet, car-free blocks were set aside across Brooklyn on Earth Day this year, allowing neighbors to mellow out on benches, read or listen to music without having to dodge vehicles. Shown: Hoyt Street in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn. Eagle photo by Mary Frost

 

Brooklynites didn’t need a park to celebrate Earth Day on Saturday, April 22. Albee Square in Downtown Brooklyn was transformed into a traffic-free Earth festival. Shown: The Brooklyn Book Bodega gave away free, environmentally-themed books as part of the festivities. Eagle photo by Mary Frost


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