Taking the ‘Concrete’ Out of ‘Concrete Jungle,’ One Green Roof at a Time

For New Yorkers, the term “concrete jungle” is one they have heard many times.  After living in NYC for several years now after moving from South America, I feel as though I finally understand the term, but still only to an extent.  Nothing says New York like commuting on a subway so packed that your arms are crossed against your body, only to emerge from the station squinting up at buildings upon buildings.  Looking down, you can expect to see sidewalks, or in other words, slabs of concrete.  So where does “jungle” come into play?  I’ve made it one of my new year’s resolutions this Rosh Hashanah to discover New York’s hidden gems–rooftop gardens and outdoor spaces.

The Kingsland Wildflowers’ second annual Wildflowers Festival took place on September 23, from 1-4 PM.  The free event aimed to spread environmental awareness and appreciation.  The festival celebrated the second season of the NYC Audubon-sponsored green roofs in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.  The three green roofs are collectively 22,000 square feet, complete with drainage layers, soil, and an array of breathtaking plants.  The gardens are bursting with grasses and wildflowers native to New York.  The afternoon’s events included green roof tours, music, family activities, bird watching, and face painting. Food and drinks were served.

Premiere film and television production company Broadway Stages hosts Kingsland Wildflowers’ green roofs, which provide a home to birds, bats, and insects.  In addition to welcoming festival-goers to their green roofs, Broadway Stages also helped support the initiative by sponsoring the food and the bounce house.  Other sponsors included the Newtown Creek Alliance, the National Wildlife Federation, the Wild Bird Fund, and more.

The Wildflowers Festival proved that green roofs serve as a focal point in the community as an ideal place for families, as well as for all New Yorkers looking to get outside for the day, such as myself.  Being outside does wonders for your mental health, and green roofs give back to the planet.  If the Wildflowers Festival is anything to judge by, I can’t wait to see what other hidden gems I’ll discover this fall.

About the Author
Working in NYC politics and from South America, with a passion for those doing great things for the world through philanthropy and featuring their stories.
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