Naval Cemetery Landscape

Brooklyn NY
(2010 - 2016)

The Naval Cemetery Landscape will create an experience of landscape and planted form that offers retreat, remembrance, and engaged observation while honoring the layered, 200 year history. The site is an unmarked burial ground from the late 19th and early 20th centuries at the Brooklyn Navy Yard complex and now the first open space node along the Brooklyn Greenway. A memorial meadow and sacred grove are framed by an undulating boardwalk lifted above the undisturbed ground.  The plantings of the memorial meadow will focus on establishment of much needed native plant fodder for the many forgotten pollinators critical to ecological health of the region, including butterflies, honey bees, and pollinator moths.

This immersive experience will engage the public in the importance of pollinator habitat in the urban environment while symbolically attracting many forms of life to a place that has historically commemorated death. Initially planted in a strict geometric pattern, the plantings will eventually drift across the site, creating new patterns and establishing a self-sustaining, ‘open-ended’ ecology.  Remembrance Frames are steel cable sculptural pieces that initially frame the geometric blocks of plants and remain in place as a datum that records the dynamic movement of the plant communities over time and become a physical form of remembrance.

Collaborators: Rogers Marvel Architects, Larry Weaner Associates