The Greenpoint Environmental Education Center at Brooklyn Public Library

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On Tuesday, July 26, Whole Foods in Brooklyn is spreading the love to Brooklyn Public Library. 5% of the day's sales at both the Gowanus and Williamsburg stores will benefit our eco-learning programs before the 2018 opening of the Greenpoint Library and Environmental Education Center.

                                                                                                                                

Brooklyn Public Library will build a new Greenpoint Library and Environmental Education Center at the site of the existing branch. Funded by a $5 million grant from the Greenpoint Community Environmental Fund and over $6 million from the Library, the new branch will provide significantly more space—indoor and outdoor—to house expanded programs and activities. 

The Environmental Education Center will provide students and residents with environmental education programs, information and special collections that increase awareness and stewardship of the local environment. The center will offer space for local environmental groups to hold meetings and host public programs.

The building will be a model of sustainable development, exceeding LEED Silver Green Building Certification requirements. Its features will include energy-efficient windows; high-efficiency HVAC and lighting systems; water-efficient plumbing and fixtures; rainwater harvesting and other storm water runoff and control systems. The accessible landscaped rooftop will host outdoor activities and events. 
 
Timeline

  • BPL was awarded the GCEF legacy grant in December 2014. Winners were selected with community input and with oversight from the New York State Office of the Attorney General and Department of Environmental Conservation.
  • BPL formed a Community Advisory Committee in March 2015 comprised of local environmental groups, elected officials and neighborhood organizers.
  • The architects Marble Fairbanks were selected in September 2015.
  • The branch hosted a community design workshop October 2015; patrons were able to vote for their favorite features in the library for a month. More public workshops will be scheduled in the future.
  • Construction is expected to begin at the end of 2016. BPL will provide book mobile service and programs with community partners. 
  • The new library is scheduled to open in mid-2018.

Rendering

The current rendering is available here. The project is in its preliminary design phase and is subject to change. 

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The Greenpoint Community Environmental Fund (GCEF) 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. GCEF’s goal is to fund projects that will address the Greenpoint community’s environmental priorities through a process that is open, transparent, and ensures ongoing engagement and partnership with the community.