This summer, Two Trees Management will oversee Putting Green, a climate change-themed 18-hole mini golf course. Through Putting Green, Two Trees Management hopes to spark conversations with players of all ages on the importance of taking action against climate change and the pressing environmental issues affecting our world. As David Lombino, Managing Director with Two Trees stated, “We’re confident that Putting Green will help facilitate much-needed conversations about how to protect the environment and, even more specifically, the Williamsburg waterfront while still providing a beautiful open space for everyone.”
Located at River Street and North 1st Street in North Williamsburg, Putting Green will launch at the site for the proposed River Ring project. Specifically, the River Ring Waterfront Master Plan aims to create a new model for urban waterfront resiliency and to transform the way New Yorkers interact with the water. To accomplish this, River Ring will repurpose the formerly industrial Williamsburg waterfront for new housing. Two mixed-income buildings will provide 1,050 units of housing, and 300 of these units will be affordable designated housing. Moreover, the newly revamped Williamsburg waterfront will serve as part of a larger continuous public waterfront for North Brooklyn, that will connect almost seamlessly with Domino Park and Grand Ferry Park.
River Ring’s infrastructure will utilize storm resilient edges (also known as “soft edges”), berms, breakwaters, marshes, and wetlands, all designed to increase the area’s resiliency against storm surges. A new tidal basin, capable of holding four million gallons of water, will also be included that will become a habitat for marine wildlife including oyster colonies that will be seeded by the Billion Oyster Project. This will lead to a reduction in potential flooding and erosion risks, leading to better protection for the waterfront’s more than 500 inland properties in the face of habitat loss and climate change. Additionally, River Ring will build a brand new park which will include a first-of-its-kind protected public beach and in-water area that will further insulate the inland community from flooding. With six acres of public open space and protected in-water access, the park will include activities such as boating, fishing, tide pool exploration, and potentially swimming in the future.
Similar to River Ring’s environmental focus, Putting Green places emphasis on highlighting the major sustainability issues facing the New York City community. In a fun and educational manner, the golf course showcases both the problems and potential solutions for some of the city’s most pressing climate change priorities. Immediately upon entering Putting Green, visitors pass a globe made from recycled plastic bottle caps and left-over turf scraps. The curbing surrounding the holes is made entirely of recycled tires, with all of the plants in and around the course selected to match the existing seeded landscape. Each of the course’s 18 holes were created and designed by community partners and organizations focused on addressing and bringing awareness to major climate change issues. Some of these topics include animal habitats, energy, green and blue infrastructure, and emissions.
The first hole, Down The Drain — designed by the Brooklyn-based artist Kim Holleman — hones in on the litter and debris accumulated on the city’s streets, which eventually gets washed down drains by rainwater into New York’s waterways. Focusing on how this affects marine life, Holleman’s hole provides a sound argument toward making New York City’s streets litter-free. On the flip side, hole 15 — The Big Oyster — is designed around the city’s oyster population, which has been decimated over the years due to overfishing, pollution, and habitat loss. Including oyster shells and debris found locally at the Williamsburg waterfront, Chris Edmonds, Nat Quinn, and the Billion Oyster Project‘s hole highlights the need for restoring the oyster’s habitat to make the city’s waterways healthier.
Other interesting holes in Putting Green have designs based on the slowly disappearing icy Arctic Ocean habitat of the world’s polar bear population, Manhattan’s shifting shoreline, and New York State’s development of offshore wind farms — harkening back to the windmills which once powered life for the settlers of New Amsterdam more than 400 years ago. See the full list of holes and their backstories here.
On Wednesdays before 5:00 p.m. and Saturdays before 1:00 p.m., tickets cost $5 for adults and $2 for children. Otherwise, standard admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children. Profits from Putting Green will be donated to local nonprofit organizations dedicated to addressing climate change in New York City, including but not limited to the Wildlife Conservation Society and the Newtown Creek Alliance. The golf course is open Monday through Wednesday from 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Thursday through Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Besides Putting Green, another nearby mini-golf course is Paramus Mini Golf located in Northern New Jersey about 10 miles outside of New York City. What makes Paramus Mini Golf unique is its New Jersey theme — the course features replicas of classic state landmarks such as the George Washington Bridge, Jersey Shore, Red Mill, and Fritz Behnke Historical Museum. If you’re looking for something more local to the city, check out Shipwrecked Miniature Golf in Red Hook — an 18 hole New York- and pirate-themed family-owned course hidden on the second floor of an industrial brick building.