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Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation Plants and Wildlife

Brooklyn Bridge Park is in Bloom as Partners Announce Opening of John Street Pasture

June 6, 2014

by George Tsiatis, Group 113 LLC on Jun 6, 2014

Art and the outdoors came together as Regina Myer, President of the Brooklyn Bridge Park, announced the opening of John Street Pasture. Before a gathering of partners and the press in front of the 6,000 sq. ft. clover field, Myer, framed by the Manhattan Bridge and Lower Manhattan, shared the story of the Pasture as one of revitalization and positive transition. John Street Pasture is located at 1 John Street, at the northernmost edge of Brooklyn Bridge Park.

John Street Pasture is a temporary living earthwork that celebrates green space, agriculture, and the transitional nature of urban land. This cover crop of crimson clover has bloomed into a lush field of reds and greens all while creating a nutrient rich resource of nitrogenized soil for the now under-construction John Street section of Brooklyn Bridge Park.

“This site was vacant and in a state of neglect for a long time, but it was always a site that the community wanted as part of the Park. Now John Street Pasture is a place to learn about urban farming and to explore an area of park that was previously barren and inaccessible,” explained Myer. “We have all watched the Pasture eagerly as we came out of a very cold winter, and are thrilled with how the seeds that were planted have transformed this space into a lush field of red and green for the enjoyment of the neighborhood!”

Myer praised the artist, Andrea Reynosa for her vision. In collaboration with the site’s developer, Alloy, the urban farmers at Brooklyn Grange, Brooklyn Bridge Park and Smack Mellon, through their Exhibition FOODshed: Agriculture and Art in Action, Reynosa activated the space through this temporary art installation that brings together soil and plants to explore and celebrate land use, sustainable agriculture and a City in transition.

Alloy, who recently acquired the right to develop the lot, will break ground on a new residential tower there in Fall, 2014. In the meantime, they have given the site to the neighborhood in the form of a temporary living earthwork that will bloom throughout the spring and summer before being swept away for use in the John Street section of Brooklyn Bridge Park.

The installation, designed by Reynosa and constructed by Brooklyn Grange, employs several truckloads of soil, raked flat and sown with crimson clover seed. A commonly used agricultural cover crop, the clover has grown into a thick green blanket topped with striking red blossoms, pleasing visitors, feeding and attracting pollinators like honey bees and butterflies, and enriching the soil with increased nitrogen and biomass. At the end of the summer, the installation will be plowed aside, and the enriched soil and composted clover will be incorporated into a new section of Brooklyn Bridge Park, under construction in the adjacent lot between 1 John Street and the East River.

Reynosa, artist and farmer, said, “I’m most excited to see how the community interacts with it.” With a smile, she added, “It has been the view from my loft for many years. With the amazing changes that DUMBO has experienced and time spent farming in the far Western Catskills, this piece reflects part of that journey.”

The installation is an exercise in art, agriculture, and urban design. Although temporary, the pasture will activate a space in transition in a meaningful way, sparking conversations, educating visitors and drawing attention to issues ranging from food and agriculture to urban development. The DUMBO-based gallery Smack Mellon will be facilitating public interaction with the space, opening it to visitors during the concurrent FOODshed: Agriculture and Art in Action exhibition. It will be open to the public through mid-summer from 12-6 PM, on Wednesdays through Saturdays.

“This site will present the northern section of Brooklyn Bridge Park with a fabulous entry point right off of Jay Street, and will really punctuate the Park,” added Myer. “I want to thank Andrea whose vision this was, Brooklyn Grange, Kathleen Gilrain for this amazing exhibition at Smack Mellon, and Alloy for its generosity and support of the Park and this land.”

About John Street Pasture

John Street Pasture is a temporary living earthwork that celebrates green space, agriculture, and the transitional nature of urban land. It is a collaboration of Andrea Reynosa, Alloy and Brooklyn Grange. The piece is part of FOODshed: Agriculture and Art in Action, an exhibition of upstate/downstate NY artists who work with food and agriculture at Smack Mellon Gallery, curated by Amy Lipton. John Street Pasture is made possible with the support of Brooklyn Bridge Park. For more information, please visit www.johnstpasture.com or follow us on Twitter @johnstpasture.

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