Kingsland Wildflowers – Brooklyn, New York - Atlas Obscura

Brooklyn, New York

Kingsland Wildflowers

Thriving meadows span a rooftop in one of Brooklyn's most heavily industrialized neighborhoods.  

Fertile meadows of bee balm, purple aster, meadow prairie dropseed, orange butterfly weed, and wild strawberry plants overlook the scrap yards and factories of one of Brooklyn’s most heavily industrialized areas. The once bare rooftop that overlooks the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant’s massive digester eggs is now home to 24,000 square feet of native plants, birds, bats, and insects.

The green space, called Kingsland Wildflowers, is located on the roof of Broadway Stages film studios on Kingsland Avenue in Brooklyn’s Greenpoint neighborhood. It’s a collaboration of Alive Structures, New York City Audubon, the Newtown Creek Alliance, and NOoSPHERE Arts. 

The project team hosts visiting school groups, public open hours, film screenings, art installations, and an annual Fall Festival. To visit Kingsland Wildflowers, please visit the website to see upcoming events or email project management to schedule a visit. 

The idyllic array of local flora and fauna that fills the sky-high meadow was bankrolled by the Greenpoint Community Environmental Fund, an environmental grant program created with money from the $25 million settlement with ExxonMobil over its Greenpoint oil spill.

Kingsland Wildflowers is one of several projects throughout Brooklyn that are attempting to combat the consequences by creating habitats for local plants and animals in, and on, areas that are otherwise uninhabitable. Instead of a gardening project, which requires harvesting and general upkeep, the plants in Kingsland’s meadows, located on the rooftops of floors four and five, are all native to New York. And they’re self-sufficient, so human intervention is largely unnecessary.

The plants form a habitat for local birds, bats, and bugs, who would otherwise live on the contaminated banks of the creek or in nearby First Calvary Cemetery. And the other two roofs feature the lightweight, low-lying sedum, a succulent-like flowering plant that attracts grubs and other insects, which in turn attract birds, who nest in the sedum.  New York City Audubon uses the space to monitor the increasing population of birds and bats.

Know Before You Go

To visit Kingsland Wildflowers, please visit the website for upcoming events or email project management to schedule a visit.

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