Fed-up Greenpoint and Williamsburg residents took to land and water on Sunday to demand that the city make good on their promise to build a waterfront park in the area. Supported by around 100 comrades on land, 40 protesters in canoes and kayaks paddled into the cove near Kent Avenue to call out the city’s foot dragging on building the Bushwick Inlet Park.
The city purchased land located on Kent Avenue between N. 14th and N. 15th streets last year, but has yet to transform the former industrial area into the 28-acre public green space they promised residents, leaving many angry and frustrated.
The two sets of ralliers were separated by the fenced-off lot which, itself, symbolizes the protesters’ objective. “A lot of people wanted to get over the fence, see the water, and interact with the boaters, and I think that speaks to the issue itself,” said Steve Chesler, a Greenpoint resident and member of community group Friends of Bushwick Inlet Park.
A major point of contention is that the government’s land purchase was contingent on the rezoning of the area, something that has allowed developers to build luxury housing along the Greenpoint and Williamsburg waterfront. Since the rezoning, many high-rises have gone up in the area, but it looks like the promised Bushwick Inlet Park has been put on the back burner.
Although there hasn’t been a response from local government to the protest yet, park advocates are not about to just float into the abyss any time soon and are planning another protest in the fall. “The neighborhood needs this park — we deserve it — but we’re going to have to fight for it,” said Greenpointer Kate Yourk.
Via Brooklyn Paper