Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Quick: Name the (World-Renowned) National Park in Brooklyn

Half of New Yorkers don't even know it's there, says the Norwalk Advocate. Many of its visitors are bird-watchers from around the world, not even from Brooklyn.

It's the Gateway National Recreation Area, which
contains Jamaica Bay, the only wildlife refuge center in the National Park system. Those who do visit the park, a recent poll found, often rated the restrooms, beaches, trails and other facilities below average compared with other national parks.

So the National Parks Conservation Association has launched an international competition to create a new vision for Gateway as a world-renowned national park. The contest is called "Envisioning Gateway." Contestants will be asked to look at the park "in terms of public transportation, access and what elements can be created to make it stand out as a national park," Alexander Brash, the NPCA's regional director in New York, said.

Ecologists, landscape architects, urban designers, planners, students and others are invited to send redesign proposals to the Web site. First prize is $15,000. Winners will be selected in June. See here and here for more.

Map from National Park Service Web site, Creative Commons license

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