It looks like Prospect Park’s lake has a future date with a lean, green, algae-eating machine. As part of Brooklyn’s District 39’s Participatory Budgeting process, local residents recently voted for eight projects that will share $1.5 million of Councilman Brad Lander’s discretionary dollars. Out of the 13 contenders, a submission called the  “Lake Mess Monster” came out on top and will be awarded $140,000 to clean up the Prospect Park lake’s infamously scummy surface. Read on to see a video of the green beast in action!


Out of 3,000 people from District 39, which includes Park Slope, Carroll Gardens, Kensington and Gowanus, 1692 voted to support the aquatic weed harvester. Thanks to the support, the “Lake Mess Monster” machine will be used to clean up Prospect Park‘s lake, which is known for its unsightly green coating.

Related: Toxic Blue-Green Algae Stirs Up Trouble For Pets and People at Prospect Park Lake

District 39's Participatory Budgeting process

The imposing green contraption is actually a boat propelled by a pair of extra wide water wheels. As the boat slowly skims the water, a conveyor belt whisks scum off the lake’s surface and into its belly. According to a WSJ interview with the captain of the previous Lake Mess Monster, which rusted away after years of service, a weekly lake clean up usually includes lots and lots of green sludgy duckweed and azolla, an aquatic fern that turns reddish-brown.

Councilman Brad Lander is one of 28 City Council members who encourage locals to participate in the citizen-led participatory budgeting process, essentially allowing involved residents to decide on what projects will receive council members’ discretionary dollars.

Other District 39 projects that will share this year’s funding dollars include year-round, freeze-resistant drinking fountains in Prospect Park, 12 new bus clocks on the B67 and B69 routes, and a new teen space in the Carroll Gardens library.

+ Prospect Park Alliance

Via DNAinfo

Images via Prospect Park Alliance and Marcos Ojeda Flickr