4. Kingsland Wildflowers Green Roofs
Kingsland Wildflowers has a spectacular view of the Newtown Creek Digester Eggs
At the northeastern tip of Greenpoint, the former facilities of Standard Oil once encompassed fifty acres of former marshland along Newtown Creek.Several decades of mishandling resulted in a century of accumulated oil contamination and a fire in 1919 caused a loss of 110 million gallons of oil. But amidst the foreboding landscape of the Greenpoint oil spill zone, glimpses of nature can be found.
One such place is Kingsland Wildflowers, a lush series of green roofs hidden atop Broadway Stages, one of the largest television and film production companies in New York City. Funded predominantly by the Greenpoint Community Environmental Fund, a grant program created from an ExxonMobil settlement, and Broadway Stages, Kingsland Wildflowers was conceived by Marni Marjorelle, the owner and founder of Alive Structures green roofing company, in partnership with NYC Audubon and Newtown Creek Alliance. In addition to monitoring wildlife populations on the green roofs, New York City Audubon and Newtown Creek Alliance run the community programming: hosting special events, workshops, neighborhood bird walks, ecology discussions, and educational lectures.
In total, there are four green roofs, all donated by Broadway Stages, covering 22,000 square feet with a fifth roof on the way that will serve as a living learning lab and educational green roof. Kingsland Wildflowers aims to offer a habitat of native grasses and wildflowers for the birds and insects of the neighborhood, some who live their whole lives on this roof, others that use the roof as a stopover habitat. The rooftop oasis has become a hotspot for bird species like the barn swallow, red-tailed hawk, and chimney swift, European starling, northern mockingbird, and the American robin. From May through October 2017, New York City Audubon collected over 45,000 arthropods, observed 17 bird species, recorded 493 bat passes, and confirmed one species of bat, the Eastern Red Bat.
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