November 22, 2010
Dear Brooklyn Bridge Forest supporters,
It has been another busy and exciting month for the Brooklyn Bridge Forest project. I’ve had the opportunity to be out on the Boardwalk several times this past month and every time I’m struck again by its timelessness and power. I mentioned in our last letter that we had been contacted by a number of interested organizations. Several of these contacts are now developing into productive collaborations.
On the forestry front, Aram Terry from Maderas Sostenibles visited us from Nicaragua. He provided us with a detailed view of his company, which is dedicated to forestry that delivers positive economic and environmental impact in Central America. Read more about Aram Terry and his efforts here: http://forestryblog.blogspot.com, http://www.nicaraguahardwoods.com
We have also had a number of meetings with PInchot Institute leadership (on the Brooklyn Bridge Promenade itself!) These expert foresters have created the Ecomadera Project in Ecuador, and Ecomadera Forest Conservation LLC. You can read more about Ecomadera and see a slide show here: www.pinchot.org/current_projects/sustainable/ecomadera
Both of these groups understand the complexity and the details of tropical forestry, and both stress the urgency of creating integrated social, economic and cultural solutions to rain forest protection.
On a slightly different note we had an intense but fruitful meeting with one of our country’s leading rain forest activists. In our long conversation we learned that biodiversity is one of the greatest concerns of the activist groups. Preserving biodiversity has always been an aim of the BBF proposal. But after hours of discussion we realized the need to integrate this concern more fully into the BBF plan. Therefore, we intend to engage biologists in assessing the biodiversity impact in the development of our forest management model.
Another meeting brought us together with Chad Berkowitz, a supportive NY lawyer with a passion for NY’s public space. Not only did he help connect us with lawyers for the public interest http://www.nylpi.org, but he also reminded us of the important role the promenade boardwalk plays in the network of NYC civic spaces. He wanted to remind BBF to take this legacy seriously – and we certainly intend too! The fact that the boardwalk remains natural wood from a sustainable source is only the beginning. BBF will address a host of issues that are important to public space. With enough momentum, we will propose solutions to address the growing bike/pedestrian conflict, and the access points at each end of the boardwalk.
What’s next: Planning is underway for a BBF Symposium in February 2011 that will bring together BBF supporters, leadership and a panel of subject experts. This panel will give short talks on a series of related topics including Brooklyn Bridge history, the rainforest, sustainable forestry and NYC civic spaces. The purpose of the event is to allow supporters and press to meet, field questions, hear details of the project, and of course, have a good time. We believe the BBF is not only about contributing to a healthy future but also about enriching lives today through shared interests and efforts: Life is full of moments framed by the things we make and how we make them. We want to make things well and have something to share …which introduces the next topic:
Competition! As part of the upcoming symposium, BBF will be hosting a competition for creative submissions embracing the subject of the Brooklyn Bridge Promenade. Submission details and prizes to be announced shortly.
With the ever-increasing momentum and support, there is much to be done and we’re so excited to move forward. As ever, we advance because of the encouragement and support from our partners and supporters, so thank you to those who have contributed their time, money, and expertise. As a reminder, the Brooklyn Bridge Forest, like all Pilot Projects, is a community focused collaborative effort. If you would like to partner, contribute or participate in any way we would love to hear from you.
Best wishes to all,
Brooklyn Bridge Forest