Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The Greenpoint Community Environmental Fund has awarded Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) a $5 million legacy grant to build a new Greenpoint Environmental Education Center (GEEC) at its existing neighborhood branch, the Fund announced this week. Winners were selected with community input and oversight from the Attorney General’s office and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).
The GEEC will offer a centrally located space where community groups dedicated to addressing environmental issues can hold meetings and host public programming and workshops. It will promote environmental awareness, education and advocacy, and will provide a forum for community members to learn about the history of the neighborhood, as well as its unique and ongoing environmental challenges.
Known for its collections for the local Polish community, as well as diverse cultural, early childhood literacy and health programs, the Greenpoint branch is an essential community hub. This new space at the branch will dramatically increase public space, in addition to providing state-of-the-art environmental education
Features of the new space will include an environmental education center on the Library’s new 2nd floor; an accessible green roof with open space for public use, native plant landscaping and greenhouse learning center; a community composting space; LEED Silver Green Building Certification through “green” building components; a community hub for free environmental programs; and more than 300 annual programs in partnership with local environmental organizations and educational groups.
The proposed environmental features of the GEEC, the proposed first floor plan, second floor plan and rooftop layout can be viewed on BPL’s website (bklynlibrary.org). The project is expected to be completed in 2018.
The Greenpoint Community Environmental Fund (GCEF) is a joint program of the New York State Office of the Attorney General and Department of Environmental Conservation. The GCEF program is a $19.5 million grant program created by the State of New York with monies obtained through a settlement with ExxonMobil over its Greenpoint oil spill. BPL will provide roughly $5.8 million in matching contributions for the project.