We have two exciting announcements to share with you. First, this spring we will (finally!) commence building our community boathouse and environmental education center on Newtown Creek. This North Brooklyn community space is made possible by a grant* from NYS DEC and generous support from Tony and Gina Argento of Broadway Stages. The boathouse will be located on the same lot we have used as our home base for seven seasons of community programming, and the building project represents more than eight years of planning to create a space that will connect the people of North Brooklyn with their waterways, in keeping with our mission.
Second, in conjunction with the building of this boathouse, our nonprofit (501c3) organization will now use the name North Brooklyn Community Boathouse. We will commission the design of a new logo and are looking forward to sharing more details about that with you in the near future.
The 8,000-square-foot boathouse will include storage for dozens of kayaks and canoes, an ADA-accessible dock, a boat-building workshop, an environmental education center, and office space for nonprofit organizations working on revitalizing our local waterways.
Since its founding in 2010, the North Brooklyn Community Boathouse has expanded its outreach and programming while fostering an inclusive culture of creativity and DIY resourcefulness (with a nautical bent). Today we have more than 350 members, many of whom actively volunteer in delivering monthly free public paddles, environmental-education programs, and on-water kayak and canoe training, as well as marine-safety and trip-planning workshops. When NBCB takes ownership — and we will actually own this facility — we will secure the future of these valuable programs and community access to the water.
While the boathouse is under construction, the status and privileges of our members will not change. NBCB will continue to operate, with paddling and other programs based in exciting new locations around Greenpoint. Kayak and canoe trips will be launched from the Brooklyn Barge (West St @ Milton St.) and free public paddles and also member trips from Manhattan Avenue Street End. Environmental Education trips will be launched from those locations as well as other spots still to be confirmed. Long Island City Community Boathouse has also offered to collaborate on trips and programs during the estimated eighteen-month construction period. These temporary locations will give NBCB more exposure and help expand both membership and outreach.
If you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch with us. You can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. And look for updates here on our website as the paddling season approaches — and we hope to see you on the water soon!
With love and thanks,
North Brooklyn Community Boathouse
PS: Yes, we shall miss the boatyard while we are in exile. It lit up our lives!
*The Newtown Creek Environmental Fund was created from fines levied by New York State DEC against New York City’s DEP for violations incurred during the construction of the Newtown Creek Waste Water Treatment Plant.