Greenpoint

Volunteers construct bee hotels at Under The K Bridge Park

How the NBK Parks Alliance pulls it all together

May 22, 2024 Mandie-Beth Chau
A freshly made bee hotel.
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GREENPOINT — Unseen by hundreds of thousands of motorists who pass overhead every week, families, friends and committed volunteers gathered under the Kosciuszko Bridge to refurbish a park. At Under the K Bridge Park, volunteers built “bee hotels” and repotted plants that had outgrown their environment. The Garden Club at UTK focused on “rewilding” an industrialized setting and educating Brooklynites about the history of environmental damage in North Brooklyn.

“What we do here at Under the K Garden Club is have things focused on and centered around the nursery. That way, people can learn what these plants are and how they grow,” said Lisa Bloodgood, Director of Horticulture and Stewardship at the North Brooklyn Parks Alliance (NBK Parks). “Then we’re making these bee hotels to support our cavity-nesting wild bees. Hopefully, that brings more awareness to the struggle to keep our native bees alive and thriving in this environment.”

Katie Denny Horowitz of NBK Parks with Charlie (age 6).
Katie Denny Horowitz of NBK Parks with Charlie (age 6).

UTK opened in 2021, immersed in the Industrial Business Zone (IBZ). The park functions as a hub for native plants and wildlife but faces environmental challenges from the harsh effects of the Brooklyn Queens Expressway, the IBZ, and invasive species like mugwort.

“This park is very special, very unique, in the sense that it’s the first park under elevated space — in this case, the Kosciuszko Bridge. NBK’s role is to help highlight these underserved or abandoned spaces and turn them over to where they become community benefits or community landmarks, and it’s beneficial to everyday folks,” said Taj Ali, who facilitates mobile operations across all the parks in Community District 1.

Lisa Bloodgood shows volunteers a wasp’s nest.
Lisa Bloodgood shows volunteers a wasp’s nest.

Volunteers gathered on Sunday, May 19, to learn more about UTK and the surrounding area’s needs and how the plant nursery addresses urgent ecological and environmental concerns in North Brooklyn. The event attracted several families and volunteers of all ages, with many constructing bee hotels made of wood, pine cones and straw. 

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