This roof wants to bring butterflies and birds to the toxic sludge - Brooklyn


Aug. 31, 2016 10:19 am

This roof wants to bring butterflies and birds to the toxic sludge

Kingsland Wildflowers, previously an oxymoron, wants to improve city life with plants and birds. It's a project of the Greenpoint-based Alive Structures.

Turning oil spills to mulchy thrills.

(Image via Vimeo)

When I moved to Greenpoint, I was told that the neighborhood was a Superfund site. This isn’t true at all. In fact, there are only two Superfund sites, one on either side of the neighborhood, and so what if they happen to straddle New York City’s largest sewage plant?

But one group is trying to turn our deformed, toxic frowns upside down with a 10,000-square-foot roof park called Kingsland Wildflowers, DNAInfo’s Gwynne Hogan reports:

A sprawling native wildflower and grass roof overlooking  Newtown Creek will soon become a sanctuary for migratory birds and butterflies, swallows, songbirds, bats and insects of all types, its builders hope.

The money for the project, around $1 million, comes from a disbursement of state funds from a settlement with ExxonMobil for its 1970s oil spill in the Newtown Creek, which the state estimates left 17 million gallons of oil in the soil underneath Greenpoint, and contaminated up to 55 acres of the neighborhood.

A roof grows in Greenpoint.

A roof grows in Greenpoint. (Courtesy image)

Kingsland Wildflowers is the work of Alive Structures, a Greenpoint-based landscaping company which installs and maintains green roofs across the city.


The roof, which sits on top of a Broadway Stages building, plans to open Sept. 24 with a community party featuring food, beer, live music and kids’ activities from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 520 Kingsland St.

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